The government is considering giving the UK an extra bank holiday in October due to the coronavirus crisis.
The proposal of an extra day off near half-term was put forward by the UK’s tourism agency Visit Britain to help the industry recover from the impacts of coronavirus.
According to The BBC the government has said it will “respond in due course” to the proposal, but have warned that having an extra break could have an economic downside.
A spokesman told the outlet that it was “worth acknowledging that extra bank holidays do come with economic costs”.
Head of Visit Britain, Patricia Yates, reportedly told MP’s an extra day in October would allow the UK tourism sector to mitigate the benefits lost from the two bank holidays in May due to the coronavirus lockdown.
“Every time we do the modelling the figures get worse. So for inbound, I mean we were looking at the beginning of this year at about £26.6bn coming from inbound tourism, we reckon a £15bn drop on that,” Ms Yates told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, according to The BBC.
The prospect of overseas tourism has been majorly hit by coronavirus quarantines both in the UK and abroad. Any visitors entering the UK will be required to undertake a two-week quarantine period.
Similar quarantine measures have already been put in place in popular holiday destinations including France, Spain and Portugal.
Ms Yates also stressed that she believed domestic tourism would also be down by £22bn this year.
“To get British tourism up and running this summer is hugely important as we need that domestic audience,” she added.
A number of other representatives from Britain’s tourism industry also appeared before the committee, according to the report.
UK Hospitality, a trade group for leisure businesses have spoken favourably of the extra bank holiday but also expressed caution.
“A bank holiday in October may provide a welcome boost for hospitality businesses, not least at a time when consumer confidence will hopefully be returning to healthy levels,” Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, told the BBC.