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Tourism Boss Attributes UK’s Low Tourist Figures to Ban on EU ID Cards


The UK’s ban on travel to the country with European Union-issued ID cards has been labelled as self-harm by a British tourism boss.

Bernard Donoghue, the director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, criticised the decision that the country made to ban the EU ID card for entry and require passports instead.

Donoghue said for the Independent that the decision was “a disastrous act of economic self-harm” while at the same time highlighting the impact it has had on the number of visitors to the UK’s most popular tourist attractions, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Data show that the move to no longer accept EU ID cards for entry to the UK following Brexit has had a significant impact, with more than 200 million potential EU visitors who possess only ID cards but not passports being affected.

Moreover, due to the current rules and situation, the UK authorities have predicted that 890,000 fewer EU visitors will reach the UK each year, having a direct impact on the country’s economy.

Decision to Ban EU ID Cards Seen as Illogical

Taking into account the above-mentioned figures, Donoghue said that the decision to ban EU ID cards was illogical and is harming the UK’s travel and tourism industry, among many others.

He further stressed for the Independent that the number of tourists at the main tourist attractions is down by around 11 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

Despite such low figures, Donoghue said that they are hopeful that the number of visitors will reach the 2019 levels by the end of 2025.

Concerns have also been raised about the groups of students from the EU who can no longer go on trips to the UK with their IDs only.

The travel requirements have so far been eased only for school groups from France.

The UK authorities said that they would consider facilitating the rules for school groups from other EU countries, too. However, no changes have been made on the matter.

Leaving EU Has Been Considered a Success by Only 9% of Brits

Just nine per cent of Brits have said that they consider Brexit to be a success for the UK, according to a study from the think-tank UK in Changing Europe.

The study was published last year, revealing that a high number of the respondents were pessimistic about whether the policy would turn out well.

It further disclosed that in a hypothetical vote for the UK to rejoin the bloc, around 48 per cent of Brits would vote in favour, and 32 per cent would vote against.

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