The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) is calling for the easing of restrictions to be extended to travellers from more countries as an influx of foreign visitors will provide a ‘much-needed boost’ to the industry’s recovery.
This follows the long-awaited reopening of UK borders to international travellers through the easing of travel restrictions for vaccinated visitors from Europe and the US.
International visitors are a vital component of the UK’s tourism and hospitality sectors. STAA says although it’s later than hoped for, the fact that international travellers can now visit the UK will make a significant difference to the industry’s wellbeing for the rest of the year.
The association believes a broader list of countries from which the UK can accept visitors will help accelerate the return of business and leisure visitors to cities.
Whilst the boom in UK staycations has resulted in coastal and countryside accommodation reaching record levels of business, city-based accommodation providers are operating at lower occupancy levels because of the low number of bookings from international tourists and business travellers.
Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA and chief executive officer of UnderTheDoormat, comments: “We are of course very happy that the Government has eased the restrictions on entry to the UK for some international visitors who are fully vaccinated.”
“While later than we had hoped, the return of international travellers will start to make a difference to supporting the industry recovery after two summers which have been impacted.”
According to Karr, the UK still needs a broader approach to a return to cities, including business travel, to ensure that a full recovery is realised.
“In addition to companies and hosts in our sector, it is important for the supply chains and local businesses that benefit from our guests coming here and spending money,” she adds.
“With our sector leading the recovery in accommodation with private homes a product that consumers are increasingly choosing, we look forward to a full reopening so that we can play an important role in the overall recovery.
Karr concludes: "We are particularly delighted that visitors from the US and European Union will be able to come to London on 14 September for the Short Stay Summit, the industry's first in-person conference since the pandemic began.”