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Slump in travel cost the UK economy 5.4 billion pounds last week

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

1 Jun 2021


Image: BTA Business Travel Tracker

Last week the UK Business Travel Association launched a weekly Business Travel Tracker in partnership with Travelogic Data. The tracker analyses the economic value of business travel and illustrates the huge impact of the government’s traffic light system on the UK GDP.

The first data released shows how much the UK is losing in contributions with travel down 90 percent over the same week in 2019. There were over 130,000 less trips taken last week, resulting in a loss of 5.4 billion pounds for the week. The figure from international travel is 4.4 billion pounds, according to the tracker’s data, and a further 1 billion pounds was lost from domestic trips.

The BTA says business travel is a “crucial economic enabler for the UK, contributing to over 220 billion pounds every year.”

In April retail sales volumes were 42.4 percent higher than in April 2020, according to figures from the ONS, which was affected by the first national lockdown when the tightest restrictions were in place; however, these growth rates are distorted by base effects and are not a reliable guide; sales volumes were 10.6 percent higher than February 2020, before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in February clothing retailers reported the largest fall, of 50.4 percent, in sales volumes when compared with February 2020 before the pandemic.