Further government support is needed for the domestic travel sector if businesses are to survive the autumn and winter.
The surge in staycation bookings since the sector reopened from lockdown on July 4 will not be enough to rescue the sector from the “severe threat of closures” as the high season comes to a close early next month when children go back to school.
The warning came from the trade association representing the UK short term accommodation sector.
The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) called on ministers to support the industry if many are to survive to next year’s holiday season.
Chair Merilee Karr said: “A combination of good weather and the British people’s desire to have a holiday despite the Covid-19 restrictions has meant that since reopening the short term accommodation sector has enjoyed a really uplifting reopening with the biggest staycation year on record.
“Despite it being a great time to visit cities without all the international tourists, there is still scope for more growth as capacity in cities is so much greater.
“As we approach the end of the school holidays, we can expect demand to soften and greater pressure exerted on businesses who weren’t able to generate revenues from mid-March through to early July – more than three months of lost income.
“We need a commitment from the government that it will continue to provide sector specific support so that our industry can continue to contribute to the UK economy directly and indirectly through the local businesses that benefit from our guests, while providing consumers with a great deal of choice.
“Without foreign visitors or business travellers and with regional lockdowns in some places once schools go back there will be an inevitable reduction in demand.
“This combined with the impacts of the furlough scheme ending in the autumn could further jeopardise the future of many businesses in the sector.”
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