American tourists to spend extra £1bn in UK post-Brexit

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

American tourists to spend extra £1bn in UK post-Brexit

Related tags: Uk tourism industry, Tourism

The weakened pound could see US tourists spend an extra £1bn in the UK next year, according to new research.

A survey of 2,007 US consumers by hotel booking site Travelzoo found that one third of those planning to travel in 2017 were considering the UK as their destination.

Travelzoo’s American site also reported a 35 per cent rise in searches for UK destinations compared to the same period last year.

The US is already one of the UK’s top inbound tourism markets, with visitor numbers rising 13 per cent year-on-year to 510,000 in August​ alone.

American travellers spent £3bn in the UK last year, but Dr Yeganeh Morakabati, associate professor at Bournemouth University, predicts that the figure could rise even further with the pound falling to its lowest level in three decades following the Brexit vote.

“American visitors spent over £3bn in the UK in 2015, even with a less favourable exchange rate between the dollar and GBP,” she said.

“A 35 per cent increase in American tourist arrivals to the UK, would mean at least an extra £1bn spending; this brings American visitor spending in the UK to more than a staggering £4bn.”

Despite the tourism industry facing dire warnings prior to the Brexit vote,​ a recent UKinbound survey found business confidence in the sector at a 12 month high.

But outbound bookings are likely to be adversely affected by the drop in the value of sterling, Travelzoo warned.

“While the UK tourism industry looks set to benefit from the plunging value of the pound, outbound tourism from the UK is likely to suffer towards year end and as we enter 2017 as currency falls translate into higher costs of overseas holidays," said Joel Brandon-Bravo, UK managing director at Travelzoo.

“Despite a strong performance for October half-term holidays, there is concern among Travelzoo’s partners about Christmas and February half-term bookings.  Most expect to begin to see the true impact of Brexit on outbound tourism during this booking season.”

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