Over 90 per cent of holidays in July and August were cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite the opening of travel corridors.
New figures from travel industry association ABTA have brought to light the full extent of the damage done to the sector by coroanvirus.
As a result of the slew of cancellations – as well as new restrictions – travel businesses expect to end the year 93 per cent down on bookings.
And even before the new national lockdown – with its ban on international leisure travel – kicks in, redundancies have doubled to 164,000.
In addition, more than a third – 36 per cent – of all such companies have yet to resume operations since the first lockdown ended.
On the back of the figures, which were collected in a survey carried out before the latest lockdown was announced, ABTA has again renewed calls for sector specific government support.
Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The travel industry has had no meaningful chance to recover – bookings have largely vanished, cancellations are common as destinations move on and off the travel corridor list and the Government is yet to deliver a testing framework for industry and customers.
“The results are stark for businesses – job losses mounting at an alarming rate and viable, longstanding businesses closing their doors for good.”
In particular, the trade body is seeking new grant support for SMEs previously excluded from measures, as well as an airport testing programme.
“The strength and speed of recovery will be intricately linked to the UK’s connectivity, domestically and internationally, and the ability of UK businesses to access the global trade links that the travel industry underpins”, ABTA said.