20th January 2017

British Tourism set for Boost in 2017

In the aftermath of the referendum to leave the European Union it is predicted there will be a major boost to UK tourism in the coming year. This is due in no small way thanks to the value of the pound dropping almost twenty percent against the US dollar and by around fifteen percent against the euro.

The British sterling is currently at a thirty year low against the dollar. This means that visitors from abroad will find that their dollars and euros will go that much further once converted to British currency. Another factor will be that many British holidaymakers will be put off by the higher prices abroad and so will seriously consider a vacation within the UK, maybe for the first time in years.

Experts are predicting that the number of foreign tourists to these shores will be the highest numbers in four years and are expected to spend £24.1 billion in 2017. An increase in tourist numbers to more than 38 million will be largely due to the slump in the value of the pound but other factors including literary anniversary milestones will also add a boost. 2017 will see the twentieth anniversary since the first Harry Potter book was published and the Harry Potter Studio Tour just outside London is expecting to see an upsurge in visitor numbers. It is also two hundred years since the death of the great author Jane Austen and places with a connection to the writer such as Jane Austen's House Museum at Chawton in Hampshire can expect a busy year ahead.

The chief executive of Visit Britain, Sally Balcombe commented that now is a wonderful time for visitors to come to Britain from overseas as our hotels, attractions and shops all offer very good value at the moment. Hotels around the country are already reporting large increases in bookings for the coming year and places like the Lake District have had a double digit growth in international enquiries and bookings. Tax free spending by visitors from outside the European Union in the latter part of 2016 has already showed a huge increase during October and November, up by forty one percent. Chinese tourists spending rose by sixty three percent, and those from the USA spent eighty eight percent more. This all points to a bumper year coming up for hotels and attractions, and some hotel chains are already enjoying increased numbers of bookings from overseas visitors especially from the USA and China.