Tourism crisis hits British cities

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Like other British cities which usually attract high numbers of international tourists throughout the summer, Edinburgh is quiet, and businesses are suffering.

August’s festival had already been cancelled when news came last week that December’s Hogmanay party will not go ahead as usual.

The city attracted 2.2 million overnight visits by overseas tourists in 2019, making it second only to London as a destination for travellers to the UK. But coronavirus has created an unprecedented tourism crisis.

London has also felt the effects of the crisis. Christian Kaberg, operations director at St Pancras Hotel Group, has reopened just one of the three hotels that it runs at the site just next to the Eurostar terminus in King’s Cross.

He said there is “no leisure market at all”, and that business traveller numbers were tiny.

In Bath, were 400,000 overseas visitors would normally flock to pass some or all of their holiday there, the city started to feel the effects of the coronavirus before lockdown, said head of Visit Bath, Kathryn Davis. The local council has lost more than £17m in tourist income since lockdown began, and has said that after the crisis it “can’t go back to dependence on mass tourism”. It wants instead to rebuild its economy with more focus on tech businesses and high streets that serve locals.

Read more via The Guardian

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