COASTAL tourism businesses could lose nearly £8 billion this year, and the value of the industry may almost halve due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These figures come from the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA). Giving evidence to MPs on the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector this week, NCTA Academy Director Samantha Richardson said the economic loss of coastal tourism spending in England for 2020 is likely to be £7.96 billion. Nearly three-quarters of coastal business have closed amid the lockdown.

In her evidence to a Government select inquiry, Ms Richardson provided a series of recommendations to MPs to aid the long-term recovery for coastal towns. These included providing resorts with as much notice and guidance as possible before reopening, ongoing financial support for businesses and destinations, and a minimum three-year recovery programme to help set the coastal tourism economy back to pre-Covid levels.