OK, so it’s just a proposal and therefore not something to get too excited about, but the UK tourism industry is now calling for an extra bank holiday this year. Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, is leading the charge for the proposal, which would see another bank holiday added to the calendar in September, in a bid to help offset revenue lost from cautious route out of lockdown. As you’d expect, we here at Secret London are very much on board with the plan.
Calls for the September bank holiday are to “thank the NHS and key workers and help the tourism industry repair our balance sheets”, both excellent reasons to take another day off of work. The latter has been particularly imperilled by the pandemic and lockdowns, with visitor numbers to London attractions plummeting severely in 2020. The plan is for the new bank holiday to fall at the end of September, hopefully making use of some balmy late summer weather, but there are obviously plenty of hurdles in the way.
Proposed bank holidays for the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee and the contentious Brexit-inspired ‘United Kingdom Day’ holiday have both failed to materialise in recent years, whilst calls to turn June 21 into a bank holiday this year were met with a blunt response from the government. They noted that additional bank holidays cost the economy £1.2 billion per day, a cost that would appear to be too high for their liking.
The UK hasn’t had an extra bank holiday since 2012, when we got a special day off to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, the October bank holiday would be only the second time we’ve had a day off for non-Royal Family reasons, the first being when the UK took December 31, 1999 off to celebrate the new millennium. Still, I think we all deserve an elongated break after a year of lockdowns, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed!
Speaking of bank holidays, here are 20 excellent ways to spend the upcoming Easter bank holiday weekend!
Also published on Medium.