The UK government is considering the idea of introducing an extra bank holiday, possibly in October around the same time a half-term.
The original idea was put forward by the United Kingdom’s tourism agency Visit Britain.
Its acting head, Patricia Yates, told MPs that the industry has lost the benefit of the two bank holidays in May due to the current coronavirus pandemic and sub sequent lockdown.
The government did, however, warn that having an extra holiday break could have an economic downside.
Downing Street said that the government was supporting the tourism industry through this “challenging period” and would “respond in due course” to the proposal by Visit Britain.
A spokesperson said it was “worth acknowledging that extra bank holidays do come with economic costs”.
Ms Yates said an extra day in October would enable the UK tourism sector to extend the season. She said that the industry could not keep up with developments and it was very difficult to estimate the amount that would be lost because of the coronavirus lockdown.
She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: “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.
She said ordinarily, the domestic tourism contributed some £80bn a year, but she was expecting that to be down by £22bn.
UK Hospitality, the trade group that represents leisure businesses from bars to hotels, approves of the move, but struck a note of caution.
Kate Nicholls, its chief executive, said: “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”.