Coronavirus: Extra Bank Holiday for October being considered
The government is considering introducing an extra bank holiday, possibly in October around the time of half-term.
The idea was put forward by the UK’s tourism agency Visit Britain.
Its acting head, Patricia Yates, told MPs on Tuesday the industry had lost the benefit of two Bank Holidays in May because of the coronavirus lockdown.
The government did, however, warn that having an extra break could have an economic downside.
Downing Street said the government was supporting the tourism industry through this “challenging period” and would “respond in due course” to the proposal by Visit Britain.
A spokesman said it was “worth acknowledging that extra Bank Holidays do come with economic costs”.
Ms Yates said an extra day in October would enable the UK tourism sector to extend the season. She said the industry could not keep up with developments and it was very difficult to estimate the amount that would be lost because of the coronavirus lockdown.
She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: “Every time we do the modelling the figures get worse. So for inbound, I mean we were looking at the beginning of this year at about £26.6bn coming from inbound tourism, we reckon a £15bn drop on that.”
She said ordinarily, the domestic tourists contributed some £80bn a year, but she was expecting that to be down by £22bn.
Ms Yates was one of a number of representatives from Britain’s tourism industry appearing before the committee.