Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 02/04/01
Author: Page Number: 1
Copyright: Other

Epidemic will mean five years of woe, says BTA

THE INDUSTRY stands to lose £2 billion by the end of this month as a result of the foot and mouth crisis and could take five years to recover from the impact.

British Tourist Authority chairman David Quarmby said the crisis had done lasting damage to the incoming market.

He said:”We are seeing widespread cancellations of UK holidays and some operators have dropped their programmes altogether. It took five years for the US market to come back after the Gulf War and we expect this crisis will take the same amount of time to recover.”

British Incoming Tour Operators’ Association chief executive Richard Tobias was slightly more optimistic.”I hope that by 2003, we would have recovered most of the downturn,” he said.

Latest figures show the number of overseas visitors last month was one-third lower than the 1.8 million recorded for March last year.

Business fromthe US has not picked up, despite a mercy dash by tourism minister Janet Anderson last week to persuade US travellers the UK is a safe place to visit.

Wiped out: £2 billion impact