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Inbound tourism declines despite Brexit predictions

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New data from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) has revealed that despite predictions of increased UK tourism thanks to a Brexit-affected pound, the number of tourists over the first nine months of the year dropped by almost 400,000 people.

Visitation to Britain actually rose over the period – an increase of 700,000 people – however the increase comes from a 3.8 per cent rise in business travel and an 8.2 per cent rise in people travelling to the UK to visit friends or relatives.

For September, the number of outbound tourists rose 10.1 per cent, also confounding post-Brexit tourism predictions, with many predicting “Staycation 2”as British tourists try to get more value for their spend.

Following the widely-predicted trend, inbound visitors in the same month were up, increasing by 1.3 per cent year-on-year, with business visits up 6.6 per cent.

The data was part of the BHA’s newly-launched Travel Monitor, tourism statistics which will be published monthly and quarterly.

“We have launched the BHA Travel Monitor so that we can provide, through detailed and structured analysis of passenger data, a true picture of hospitality and tourism performance,” said Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA.

“Our analysis of the increase in the number of incoming people up to the end of September shows that it is not because of more leisure tourists, which might have been the initial impression. There has been no post European referendum tourist surge.”

In 2015 the UK ranked eighth in the UNWTO international tourist arrivals league, a position held for a number of years, behind France, USA, Spain, China, Italy, Turkey and Germany. The UK accounted for 2.9 per cent of global arrivals in 2015, welcoming 36.1 million overseas visitors.

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New data from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) has revealed that despite predictions of increased UK tourism thanks to a Brexit-affected pound, the number of tourists over the first nine months of the year dropped by almost 400,000 people.
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Post-Brexit analysts predicted an influx of overseas tourists thanks to a weakened pound  / Shutterstock.com
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