Nearly seven per cent of coastal tourism businesses have closed for good because of the coronavirus crisis – and the value of the industry could be almost halved.

Those were among the findings presented by to MPs by the Bournemouth-based National Coastal Tourism Academy, which says businesses could miss out on almost £8billion this year.

Samantha Richardson, director of the academy, told a parliamentary committee: “Assuming retail can reopen June 1 and hospitality businesses July 4, we forecast that the economic loss of coastal tourism spend in England for 2020 will be £7.96billion, and some analysts are predicting a loss of 20 to 25 percent in accommodation stock”