Inbound tourism numbers remain positive

Data from the British Hospitality Association’s (BHA) Travel Monitor has shown that while total passengers numbers have increased 6% year on year for the month of July, inbound tourism has seen a slowdown in growth from the 13% increase in the first four months of 2017.

The BHA’s Travel Monitor showed continued, albeit slower growth, in inbound passenger numbers from North America, up 9% in July. Meanwhile, short-haul travel from Europe for the month of July showed signs of recovery, after a weak couple of months, with passengers up 4%.

Outbound holiday passenger numbers continued to be volatile, down 3% in July but up 2% year to date. These figures may show more Brits deciding to stay home due to the continued weakness of the pound.

Overall UK spend by overseas residents grew by 3% year on year, which is below the overall growth in visitor numbers. Inbound holiday passenger numbers grew 12% year on year whereas business passengers coming to the UK continued to decline, falling by 1.7% compared to the previous year and 2.6% year to date.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA said:

“While it is positive to see the continued growth in inbound visitor numbers, overall our members are still facing difficult trading conditions compared to the earlier part of this year. The latest BHA Travel Monitor shows that inbound travel from Europe in July was up 4%, and that growth in visitors from North America has slowed, demonstrating that relying on currency fluctuations is not a proper tourism strategy. With business travel remaining weak, the government must ensure the UK remains open for business.”

“Elsewhere, data from Kantar TNS shows that, in England, domestic day visits decreased in volume by 11% in the three months to July 2017. We are disadvantaged by some of the highest tourism taxes in Europe and this, along with the recent tragic terror attacks, has discouraged daytrips to England’s top attractions and sites of interest.”

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