Foot-and-mouth could cost up to £2.5b, says BTA

14 May 2001
Foot-and-mouth could cost up to £2.5b, says BTA

The British Tourist Authority estimates the impact of foot-and-mouth will lose the tourism industry between £1.5b and £2.5b in 2001, 10%-20% short of original forecasts.

According to a new report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there were 4.9m overseas visitors to the UK during the period January to March 2001, a drop of 1% compared with the same time last year. However, spending increased by 2% to £2.4b.

Taking the March figures in isolation, visits and spending actually increased. But these figures are based on interviews with visitors leaving the UK in March, therefore around the time of the foot-and-mouth disease hitting the news.

The ONS conducted further interviews with tourists arriving in the UK during March, and therefore more likely to be affected by the foot-and-mouth crisis. These results showed an overall drop in overseas tourists of 11% compared with a year ago.

The largest drop was in arrivals from North America (down 16%) followed by Western Europe (down 9%) and the rest of the world (down 7%).

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