Confidence at 12 month high for UK's hospitality and tourism businesses

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Things are continuing to look up for the UK's hospitality and tourism businesses
Things are continuing to look up for the UK's hospitality and tourism businesses

Related tags: European union

Confidence levels among the UK's hospitality and tourism businesses are at a 12 month high according to figures gathered by tourism trade association UKinbound. 

A survey of UKinbound members, who include hotel groups, tour operators and tourist attractions, revealed that 67 per cent of them are confident that bookings and visitor revenues will increase over the coming year following a rise in bookings this summer. 

The results of the business barometer show an uplift in confidence among the sector post-Brexit with a similar survey in May and June showing that just 42 per cent of members were optimistic about the forthcoming year. 

UKinbound’s chief executive officer Deirdre Wells said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to hear that confidence levels have spiked for our members, exceeding those experienced pre and post Brexit.

"Further positive news was reported via our survey with 44 per cent of our members stating that bookings and visitor numbers in July and August 2016 were up year-on-year. The weakness of the pound, increased demand from European markets and better weather were all cited as reasons behind the increase."

Wells said operators should be 'cautiously optimistic' and reiterated the need for further support from the Government. 

"It is imperative this trend continues but we need the support and backing of the Government through a strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination; along with continued access to the Single Market and the Open Skies Agreement," she said. 

Free movement

While confidence in future bookings was high, UKinbound members did express concerns over the free movement of visitors and workers from the EU with  71 per cent of them ranking free movement of visitors from the EU as the top policy that the Government should address with the European Union. This was followed by the free movement of migrant workers.

Wells said: “This is an important issue for our members and we will continue working with the Government to address this requirement, ensuring residency for our members’ employees is addressed.”

The business barometer also highlighted that the USA leads as the top inbound growth market in July and August. In contrast, UK inbound tourism saw a continued decline in visitors from the French market. 

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