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PSA: Tourism Industry leaders are calling for an extra Bank Holiday in October so that Brits can enjoy a long weekend after lockdown ends.
The thinking behind the additional Bank Holiday is that it would give UK tourism a well-timed boost, as Brits who are unable to jet off to European hotspots take holidays on home turf.
Taking place towards the end of October, the Bank Holiday would fall close to the autumn half term holidays.
We have to say, we're so on board with this idea.
By the end of the month, Brits will have lost four public holidays to lockdown's restrictions: Good Friday, Easter Monday, VE Day and Spring Bank Holiday on 25th May.
Patricia Yates, head of Visit Britain, raised the idea with MPs yesterday.
She said: "The idea that we could possibly have a Bank Holiday in October, because the industry has lost the benefit of the two May bank holidays, I think that's an idea being considered.
"What we're going to need to do is not just stimulate people in July and August to really extend the season for the domestic market.
The grounding of airports and restrictions placed on non-essential journeys has caused the travel and tourism sector to take a major hit.
Extending the holiday season beyond the end of August would help hoteliers, holiday lettings agents and other travel and tourism workers recoup some of their losses.
A spokesperson for No 10 commented on the proposal yesterday, saying they would "respond in due course" but pointed out that "extra bank holidays do come with economic costs, however".
Under the UK Government's new rules, Brits can drive outside of their local area to take exercise in public spaces and beauty spots, but can't stay overnight.
Once lockdown is lifted, introducing measures to ensure the public feel safe in taking holidays could pose a big challenge.
Ms Yates told MPs: "The worrying thing is the lack of confidence in the British public about travelling, so 74 per cent who have a holiday booked for July and September don't think that holiday will take place.
She went on to say that only 19 per cent of Brits were planning to take a domestic holiday this summer, which is "much lower" that destinations like Italy, where 43 per cent will take a holiday in their home country.
Ms Yates stressed that 2020 will need to be the year of "domestic travel".
Could we see a spike in UK-based seaside, walking and beauty spot holidays once lockdown lifts?
For now, we're off to plan our hypothetical October Bank Holiday.
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