Spending by Barclays’ customers on flights and holidays plunged in January as tighter travel restrictions and tougher border controls took their toll on the beleaguered sector.

Figures from the bank show that consumer spending on airlines and travel agents was down 81.6% and 87.2% respectively, year-on-year.

In January 2020, these categories accounted for 10.9% of all non-essential spend, whereas this year they accounted for just 2.2%.

Travel agents and airlines were the hardest hit sectors, followed closely by entertainment (down 80.6%) and hotels (down 77.1%).

By comparison, the overall fall in consumer spending in January was 16.3%, as the return of national lockdown measures took full effect

Essential spending increased 3.9%, bolstered by strong growth in grocery expenditure, which was up 20.2%.

Non-essential spending fell 24.2%, reflecting the full impact of national lockdown on the hospitality industry and non-essential retailers.

The spend in the hospitality sector declined 69.3%, with restaurant spending down by 84.2%.

There was a marked shift to spending online in January, as expenditure increased by 10.3% year-on-year to take a record 58.1% share of overall spend.

The figures are sourced from Barclays debit card and Barclaycard credit card transactions in the UK.