The number of holiday visitors to the UK from abroad in April 2017 rose by 42% year on year, according to the British Hospitality Association’s Travel Monitor. The increase was driven by 17% growth in passengers from Europe although the data shows strong growth across all regions.
Spending by overseas visitors increased 20% year on the year, while overseas spend by UK residents declined slightly in April.
Year to date, the analysis from the BHA Travel Monitor shows that the total number of visitors to the UK was up 10.5%, with business visitors down -4.4% year on year.
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, the leading UK tourism body said:
“Trading for April shows very strong growth bolstered by Easter holidays and a weak April last year. As we’ve seen in previous months the low rate of sterling presents a great opportunity but we cannot and should not rely on fluctuating rates in the long term.
“With political and economic uncertainty increasing, it is more important than ever to ensure that UK tourism can compete. The UK continues to have a 20% VAT rate on tourism which is twice the average rate across Europe. Alongside businesses investing in the apprenticeship levy, rising business rates and the threat of online platforms such as Airbnb, this signals concern for businesses in the industry, 99% of which are SMEs.”