Coronavirus: Second lockdown could see holidaymakers lose £10bn in 2020

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Over 12,500 people seek help for problem debt each week in the UK. (Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
British Pounds. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

The true cost of Covid-19 to British holidaymakers could end up being about £10bn, research suggests.

A survey of 3,000 UK adults by credit marketplace ClearScore found one in five Brits have lost about £687 to cancelled holidays and travel plans.

That means UK households have so far lost a staggering £5.7bn, which couldn’t be recovered through insurance, since lockdown began on 21 March.

But the real figure could be much higher in the case of a second lockdown. As restrictions are eased and international quarantines lifted, one in 10 Brits said they are still planning to go on holiday in the upcoming months, with households planning to spend about £2,941 each.

READ MORE: Cheap UK holidays — Where to find the best deals

ClearScore data shows the average household has managed to save about £6,650 during lockdown.

However, with 89% of holidaymakers planning to use cash to pay for their next trip - almost half (44%) of that could be wiped out in the event of another lockdown, if they don’t use a credit card or get the necessary insurance as 56% plan to use savings and 33% plan to use their monthly income.

This is because spending on debit cards and cash do not carry the same consumer protections as credit cards — meaning the UK could lose an additional £4.3bn through cancelled travel plans, ClearScore warned.

Added to the £5.7bn already lost, this would result in a total loss of about £10bn.

READ MORE: How holidays will look different for Brits travelling abroad

“With only 19% of the UK planning on using credit cards to pay for holidays, Brits using their savings to book travel leave themselves are at risk of losing a lot of money in the event of another lockdown cancelling holiday plans,” said Justin Basini, ClearScore CEO and co-founder.

“It is safer to use a credit card in order to obtain the consumer protection and charge-back options they offer, even if it means putting it on a credit card, then immediately paying it off using your savings or income.”

One in four (23%) people, who are still planning on spending money on holidays in 2020, have said that they intend to spend less than initially planned. Of these, a third (34%) are doing so due to having less disposable income, while 31% said they are trying to be more careful with money and save more.

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