Trade continues to suffer from foot-and-mouth

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Pubs and other hospitality businesses are continuing to experience poor trade as a direct result of foot and mouth, according to latest research.A...

Pubs and other hospitality businesses are continuing to experience poor trade as a direct result of foot and mouth, according to latest research.

A recent survey by the government's Office of National Statistics shows that while the number of overseas visitors is rising, visits are considerably down on last year's figures.

Visitors to the UK from March to May this year were down four per cent on the previous three months to 6.1 million. In May alone the number of tourists was down by nine per cent on the previous year.

The figures coincide with the British Hospitality Association/Barclays Hospitality Business Trends survey, published this month, which shows that three quarters of hotels in England continue to be affected by the receding foot and mouth crisis. In Scotland this figure rises to 81 per cent and in Wales to 85 per cent.

Bob Cotton, chief executive of the BHA, said: "The immediate crisis may be over for many businesses but there are some which are still being very badly hit and there are serious long-term implications which ministers must recognise.

"With revenue down and profits disappearing, businesses will continue to need sympathetic treatment for their banks and other financial institutions for at least another year."

The survey, of 500 hotels, reveals that declared losses amount to £46million. The BHA says this is an underestimate with losses to the domestic market being calculated at nearer £2billion.

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