September bank holiday proposed for lockdown-weary Britons

The UK should be rewarded for weathering a “devastatingly hard year” with an additional Bank Holiday, a leading tourism organisation has said.

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), which represents more than 2,000 tourism sites across the country, is calling for an extra day off in September to make up for lost business over Easter and the first May Bank Holiday, which will fall under lockdown.

The call comes as ALVA released its members’ 2020 visitor figures, which showed trips were down 66 per cent to 45 million from a high of 144 million in 2019.

Bernard Donoghue, director of ALVA, said: “Our annual figures for 2020 reflect what a devastatingly hard year the attractions sector and the wider visitor economy faced. Tourism is the UK’s fifth biggest industry and, as these figures show, was hit first, hit hardest and will take the longest to recover.”

“As we approach Easter, one of the economically important times for our members, we continue to question the Government’s decision to open non-essential retail but not indoor attractions, who will also miss the May Bank Holiday as well. 

“In the past 14 months, most of our members have been closed for every Bank Holiday, and therefore we ask the Government to introduce a new Bank Holiday for 2021 at the end of September to thank the NHS and key workers and help the tourism industry repair our balance sheets.”

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 What happened yesterday? 

A recap of the top stories:

  • Roadmap on reopening international travel to be unveiled on April 5
  • ‘Door not shut’: Summer holidays abroad could be saved by secret labs in Wiltshire
  • English Heritage sites reopen Europeans flock to Spain
  • Germany makes Covid test condition of entry
  • Cornwall daytrippers told to stay away amid mini heatwave 
  • MPs and peers write to Government on travel plight

Now, on with today’s travel news.