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The impact Brexit has had on UK tourism


The impact Brexit has had on UK tourism

12 months on from the historic vote, join insurance for arcades provider as well as cover for many other types of tourism attractions, Lycetts, as they delve into how Brexit has affected the UK’s tourism industry.

The view of the UK as a holiday destination from Brits

The number of domestic holidays that were taken across the UK increased from the 64 per cent that were recorded in 2015 to 71 per cent that were logged in 2016, as detailed in the ABTA Travel Trends Report 2017.

Barclays has highlighted the rise of the staycation even further. This is because in its Destination UK report, it was revealed that more than a third of adults across Britain are choosing to holiday closer to home this year, due to personal preference as opposed to limitations due to cost.

The main reasons why the average British adult is choosing to spend more time in the UK when enjoying their holiday period are as follows:

  • 34 per cent cited choice as a main reason, stating ‘I would like to spend more time in the UK’.
  • 32 per cent cited cost as a main reason, stating ‘holidays in the UK are now more affordable’.
  • 23 per cent cited experience as a main reason, stating ‘I enjoyed a recent UK holuday and so am keen to replicate this’.
  • 15 per cent cited the number of activities available as a main reason, stating ‘there are more holiday activities in the UK than there were in the past’.
  • 14 per cent cited time as a main reason, stating ‘I have less time than I have had previously to holiday abroad’.

In terms of where to go, Barclays surveyed over 2,000 UK holidaymakers and found that 40 per cent of those who are looking at a UK-based holiday had their minds set on a city break. 37 per cent are more inclined to visit and stay in a rural spot.

The top five areas in regards to the most popular regions for domestic holidaymakers meanwhile are as follows:

  • 30 per cent of respondents planning to visit the South West.
  • 22 per cent planning to visit Scotland.
  • 20 per cent planning to visit Wales.
  • 20 per cent planning to visit Yorkshire and Humberside.
  • 18 per cent planning to visit London.

As detailed in Barclays’ Destination UK report, a boost is being seen across the UK’s economy due to the growing popularity of the staycation. The average visitor taking a trip within the UK spends an average of £309 on accommodation throughout their staycation, as well as £152 on eating out, £121 on shopping and £72 on holiday parks – if that is part of their domestic getaway.

The view of the UK as a holiday destination for international travellers

The UK also appears to be a popular destination for international travellers at the moment, if further research is to be believed. When surveying over 7,000 international holidaymakers, for example, Barclays’ Destination UK report found that 97 per cent wish to see the UK in person within the coming months or at least some point in the future. 60 per cent also stated that they were now more interested in visiting the UK than they were 12 months previously.

The top five most popular UK regions for international travellers are:

  • 67 per cent of respondents planning to visit London.
  • 44 per cent planning to visit Scotland.
  • 29 per cent planning to visit Wales.
  • 24 per cent planning to visit Northern Ireland.
  • 17 per cent planning to visit Yorkshire and Humberside.

Again, the UK’s economy is witnessing a healthy boost thanks to the nation being an appealing destination for international visitors. This is because a survey conducted as part of the Barclays Destination UK report found that the average spend on accommodation by this group to be £667, along with £453 on shopping and £339 on food and drink.

A record £2.7 billion was spent by international visitors in just January and February 2017, VisitBritain’s official statistics even revealed. That’s an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2016’s figures over the same two months.

Patricia Yates, the director of VisitBritain, observed: “These figures show that 2017 is off to a cracking start for inbound tourism, one of our most valuable export industries. Britain is offering great value for overseas visitors and we can see the success of our promotions in international markets. We must continue to build on our message of welcome and value in our high spending markets such as China, the US and the valuable European market.”

The view by ABTA to ensure the UK’s tourism industry flourishes post-Brexit

The analysis above certainly suggests that the UK’s tourism industry is enjoying a healthy period at the moment. As the UK’s exit from the EU edges ever nearer though, will this remain to be seen? ABTA hopes so by asking the government to focus on five key points in the UK’s Brexit negotiations:

  1. Maintaining our ability to travel freely within Europe and beyond — this includes ensuring that UK airlines can continue to fly and also protecting rail, road and sea routes alike.
  2. Keeping visa-free travel between the UK and the EU — so to maintain both fast and efficient processes through the nation’s airports and ports.
  3. Protecting valuable consumer rights — this takes into account mobile roaming fees in Europe still being abolished and ensuring UK travellers have continued access to either free or reduced cost medical treatment, wherever they are in Europe through the European Health Insurance Cards scheme.
  4. Giving UK businesses operational stability — such as retaining access to employment markets and continuing to look into tax and border issues.
  5. Seizing opportunities for growth — for example, reducing Air Passenger Duty, cutting visa costs and working towards world-class connectivity.

ABTA’s chief executive Mark Tanzer emphasised: “We want to work with the Government to help make Brexit as successful as possible.”



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