Monday, 29 August 2016

Brexit bonus for UK tourism

MOST of the ‘experts’ working in Britain’s tourism sector kept themselves busy during the country’s June referendum on its European Union membership issuing dire warnings of catastrophe and collapse if Brits voted the ‘wrong’ way – the wrong being to vote in favour of leaving the EU. Post-June statistics compiled by tourism bodies, however, suggest that in the short-term at least, the experts got it, er, wrong.

According to the Tourism Alliance – with members including the British Hospitality Association, the Association of British Travel Agents, and regional tourist boards – billions of pounds have flowed into the industry since the June 23 Leave vote.

There has been a substantial increase in visitors from abroad and in Brits opting for a staycation.

The extra takings in 2016 for staycations alone are estimated to be £2.4 billion. While £1 billion of that was spent before June 23, the total additional staycation income for 2016 is expected to be £1.4 billion. An extra £725 million has been spent so far across Britain’s popular tourist destinations. And hundreds of millions more are set to be spent thanks to the growth in foreign visitors.

The falling pound since the Brexit vote has made holidays more expensive for Britons going abroad and cheaper for foreign tourists coming here – giving Britain’s tourism industry a double boost.

Other factors adding to the boom are recent good weather, low interest rates and fears of terrorism across the Channel. .

Tourism Alliance director Kurt Janson said the additional £2.4 billion has the potential to create some 40,000 new jobs in the sector.

Businesses in Blackpool said the seaside town was having one of its best seasons ever, and Visit Cornwall said tourism across the county was up by more than four percent.

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