UK has seen no post-Brexit tourism surge, says BHA

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

UK has seen no post-Brexit tourism surge, says BHA

Related tags: Tourism, England

The number of leisure tourists visiting the UK dropped by almost 400,000 in the first nine months of 2016, according to the British Hospitality Association's (BHA) Travel Monitor report.

While the overall number of visitors rose by 700,000, this was due to a 3.8 per cent increase in business travellers and an 8.2 per cent rise in people visiting friends or relatives.

The number of British people going abroad has also risen 5.5 per cent in the year-to-date, suggesting an unexpected slowdown in the UK staycation market.

This is despite a study from VisitBritain​ finding a record-breaking 11m Britons holidayed at home in the first four months of 2016.

According to figures from PwC​ 45 per cent of Britons are more likely to take staycations rather than go abroad in the next year.

The BHA described the report as ‘confounding post-Brexit expectations’ of an influx of foreign tourists due to the weakened pound.

‘No tourist surge’

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, said: “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.

“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.”

The study also found that overseas tourists were spending less in the UK in 2016, but UK residents were spending 10 per cent more overseas compared to the same period last year.

But despite the figures, confidence levels among UK hospitality and tourism businesses are at a 12 month high.

A recent survey by tourism trade association UKinbound,​ whose members include hotels, tour operators and tourist attractions, found that 67 per cent of businesses believe their bookings will increase over the next year.

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