How is the UK’s tourism scene being affected by Brexit?

Join Lycetts, a provider of insurance for arcades as well as cover for many other types of tourism attractions, as they explore how the Brexit vote has affected the UK’s tourism industry over the past 12 months:

How international travellers currently see the UK

If research is to be believed, the UK is currently a popular getaway destination for international travellers. 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 visitors want to head to once they arrive in the UK, here’s 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.

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By finding the UK appealing, international visitors are helping to boost the nation’s economy. 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 released by VisitBritain have also revealed that overseas visitors spent a record £2.7 billion just in January and February 2017. 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,” Patricia Yates, director of VisitBritain, acknowledged. “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 currently see the UK as a holiday destination

Within its Travel Trends Report 2017, ABTA found that the number of domestic holidays taken throughout the UK increased to 71 per cent in 2016. This is up considerably from the 64 per cent logged during 2015.

The rise of the staycation among Brits has also been observed 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.

Why is the average British adult choosing to spend more time in the UK when it comes to the opportunity to take a holiday? The following should shed some light on this:

  • 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’.

Further research by Barclays also revealed that 40 per cent of more than 2,000 UK holidaymakers surveyed were planning a city break when looking into a UK-based holiday. 37 per cent are more inclined to visit and stay in a rural spot.

The top five most popular regions for domestic holidaymakers 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.

The staycation has given the UK’s economy a boost, as detailed in Barclays’ Destination UK report. 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.Related image

ABTA’s five-step strategy for making Brexit a success for travel & tourism

The UK’s tourism culture certainly appears to be healthy for the time being 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,” stated ABTA’s chief executive Mark Tanzer.

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