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Brexit and the UK’s tourism industry analysed

We have now seen over a year pass since UK citizens voted for the nation to leave the EU. To understand how Brexit has affected the nation’s tourism scene, Lycetts, a provider of insurance for arcades as well as cover for many other types of tourism attractions, offers this insight:

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Are international travellers seeing the UK as a popular holiday destination?

There is plenty of research to suggest that the UK is indeed proving popular to overseas visitors. 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.

When it comes to where international travellers are setting their sights when visiting the UK, these are the top five most popular regions:

  • 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.

With international visitors finding the UK an attractive destination, the nation’s economy is being delivered with a fantastic boost. 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.

What’s more, VisitBritain has found from its official statistics that international visitors spent a record £2.7 billion in January and February 2017 alone. That’s an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2016’s figures over the same two months.

“These figures show that 2017 is off to a cracking start for inbound tourism, one of our most valuable export industries,” pointed out Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director. “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.”

Are Brits seeing the UK as a popular holiday destination?

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

On top of this, Barclays has found in its Destination UK report 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.

When it comes to the reasons why an average British adult is opting to increase their time across the UK once their holiday period arrives, these are the main motivations:

  • 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’.

What type of holiday are Brits choosing when opting for a staycation? 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 most popular regions were also 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.

With the staycation trend witnessing an increase in popularity, Barclays’ Destination UK report has found that the UK’s economy is receiving a further boost. This is due to the average visitor taking a trip within the UK spending 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.

A five-step plan by ABTA to make Brexit a success for the UK’s tourism scene

There is plenty to suggest that the UK’s tourism scene is in a healthy position at the moment then. 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.

“We want to work with the Government to help make Brexit as successful as possible,” stressed Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of ABTA.

Sources:

https://www.barclayscorporate.com/content/dam/corppublic/corporate/Documents/Industry-expertise/destination-uk.pdf

https://abta.com/assets/uploads/general/ABTA_Travel_Trends_Report_2017.pdf

https://www.visitbritain.org/sites/default/files/vb-corporate/Documents-Library/documents/how_the_world_views_britain_2016_08.12.16.pdf

https://www.visitbritain.org/forecast

https://www.abta.co.uk/assets/abta%20Brexit%20Report%202017.pdf

 

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