Latest figures from the UKHospitality Travel Monitor highlights an accelerated decline in inbound passenger numbers.
The figures, which cover the month of December, revealed inbound visitor numbers had declined by 11% year on year; a significant reversal compared to growth of 9% in the first half of the year.
The decline was driven by a continued decrease in business travel and travel from the US. In the first half of the year visitors from North America had increased by 28%, but then fell by 8% in August, September and October, and by a significant 17% in December.
Additionally, these figures are compounded by a decline in travellers from continental Europe, which are down 11% year on year in December.
UKHospitality Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “It is disappointing to see that there is a decline after such positive growth at the start of the year. It is interesting to see that the decline has predominantly come from North America guests, especially as the pound remains low, making the UK good value for US visitors.
“With business travel and European visitors also weakening, the Government must ensure the UK remains open for business by supporting the industry. The UK continues to have on average twice the tourism VAT rate than that across Europe. With businesses also having to contend with rising businesses rates and a slow appeals process action cannot come soon enough.”
To view the BHA Travel Monitor see, www.bha.org.uk/travel-monitor.