The latest quarantine extension confirms what many already feared, that France would be the latest addition to the UK list. Other countries include Malta, the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Monaco, the Faroe Islands, Aruba and the Turks and Caicos. This means around 400,000 British holidaymakers in France, and more across the world, face a scramble to get home by the deadline to avoid having to go into quarantine for two weeks.
The latest government announcement has the potential to effectively end the British holiday season. In 2019, 31.6 million tourists from the UK made their way to Spain and France, highlighting the importance of the British source market to the Spanish and French tourism industries. The UK is also a key market for countries like Malta, the Netherlands and Gibraltar, meaning an announcement like this during the peak season will be disastrous for all of the countries on the list.
The government’s latest announcement could lead to many British holidaymakers avoiding travelling abroad altogether. According to GlobalData’s latest consumer survey results, 79% of UK respondents are still concerned about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, whilst 44% are concerned about disruptions to international travel. It would be unsurprising if this latest announcement meant that many British travellers decided not to go abroad at all.
The latest announcement will hit British companies hard
There is no doubt about the impact of the government’s quarantine extension on the Spanish and French tourism industries. However, the news will also be devastating for British airlines and travel agents that rely on the business to Europe during the busy summer months.
The removal of countries like Malta from the exempt list will be another burden on the trade as agents tend to book the majority of travel to the island as opposed to mainly independent travel to France. Agents are working hard with partners, suppliers and fellow industry leaders to encourage consumers to have the confidence to book a holiday but this latest news will further damage consumer confidence.
The UK is also the fourth highest spending worldwide, meaning the quarantine extension will be devastating for airlines, travel agents and hoteliers alike. This latest announcement, on top of what has already been an extremely tough year for the tourism industry, could see many companies struggling to survive the coming winter months.