Brexit: Is it affecting UK tourism for the better or worse?

Brexit: Is it affecting UK tourism for the better or worse?

With a year now passed since the historic vote for the UK to leave the EU, Lycetts, which provides insurance for arcades as well as cover for many other types of tourism attractions, looks at how Brexit is affecting the nation’s tourism scene…

How international travellers see the UK

Research has suggested that international travellers are seeing the UK as a popular destination. 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.

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In terms of the most popular regions across the UK for international travellers, here’s a look at the top five areas that this group are setting their sights on:

  • 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.

By being an attractive destination for international visitors, the UK’s economy has received 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.

Official statistics from VisitBritain also revealed that international visitors spent a record £2.7 billion in just January and February 2017. That’s an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2016’s figures over the same two months.

Director of VisitBritain, Patricia Yates, commented: “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.”

How Brits see the UK

ABTA’s Travel Trends Report 2017 found that the number of domestic holidays taken throughout the UK jumped from the 64 per cent, which was logged in 2015, to 71 per cent that was recorded in 2016.

The rise of the staycation is further spotlighted by Barclays. 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.

So, what are the main reasons for the average British adult to spend more time in the UK for their holiday? Further research has revealed…

  • 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’.

Barclays surveyed more than 2,000 UK holidaymakers too, where they found that the city break was on the minds of 40 per cent who had plans for a UK-based holiday. 37 per cent are more inclined to visit and stay in a rural spot.

When it comes to the most popular regions for domestic holidaymakers, here’s the top five areas:

  • 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.

All of this is delivering the UK’s economy with an even greater boost, if Barclays’ Destination UK report is anything to go by. 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.Image result for Brexit: Is it affecting UK tourism for the better or worse?

ABTA’s plan to ensure the UK’s travel & tourism scene flourishes post-Brexit

The UK’s tourism scene certainly looks healthy after analysing all of the facts and stats detailed above. 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,” underlined Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s chief executive.



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