UKinbound has called the chancellor’s Spending Review a “missed opportunity” to provide targeted support for domestic tourism businesses.

In the one-year review, Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze, except for NHS workers, and a cut to foreign aid spending. He said the economic emergency as a result of the pandemic had “only just begun”.

The chancellor also added that the Office for Budget Responsibility expected unemployment to rise to 2.6 million next spring, a level of 7.5%,. The UK economy is forecast to shrink 11.5% this year while economic output is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels until the fourth quarter of 2022.

Following the review, the trade association UKinbound said the government had again failed to address the concerns of the inbound tourism sector in the UK, and said it remained the “forgotten industry” by government.

Chief executive Joss Croft said: “Today’s Spending Review announcement from the chancellor was a missed opportunity to provide targeted support for struggling inbound tourism businesses that, if supported now, will significantly aid the country’s economic recovery.

“We are the forgotten industry. The treasury continues to lack a clear understanding of the inbound tourism export industry, its value and contribution to the UK economy, and that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work.”

UKinbound reiterated its calls for targeted support in the form of a tourism resilience fund to help inbound tourism businesses, such as tour operators and destination management companies which have not received funding support so far and face an uncertain future.

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