Despite cold snap, the UK tourism market is set for a scorcher

It’s the middle of spring and May is almost here, but Britain is currently facing a cold snap and snow has even reached some shores. Yet, Barclays Corporate Banking has found that UK tourism looks set to sizzle in 2017.

The Destination UK report surveyed 10,000 tourists from across the UK, Europe, the US, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Findings showed that UK tourism is on the agenda for most, as 63 per cent of the global respondents said they’re more interested in a British holiday than they were last year.

Some 31 per cent put the attraction down to the weaker pound, but a fifth also said TV shows such as The Crown have encouraged UK tourism appeal – rising to 44 per cent and 26 per cent for Chinese and American holidaymakers. Elsewhere, 29 per cent said they had succumbed to advertising campaigns.

As for locations, international visitors were most eager to head to London and Scotland, with 67 per cent and 44 per cent respectively. Chinese guests sought out Oxford and Cambridge, however. But overall, landmarks, history and museums, and British nature are the things most desired by visitors.

“2017 looks set to be a strong year for the British hospitality sector with both domestic and international visitors increasingly intent on spending more time here,” said Mike Saul, head of hospitality & leisure at Barclays.

“While the impact of a weak sterling, at least temporarily, has boosted the UK’s international appeal, underlying this increase is the quality of our hospitality industry today and the UK’s enduring appeal as a truly world class destination.

[rb_inline_related] With the trend of the staycation in mind, 30 per cent of Brits plan to embrace UK tourism this year, expecting to spend more of their holiday time on home soil.

Meanwhile, half of UK respondents said remaining in Britain is easy, with familiarity of food, language and travel offering a “hassle-free” experience. Other reasons for UK tourism were cost and better value for money than heading overseas, given the weak pound.

According to the study, £800 pound is the average British budget for UK breaks, though 22 per cent plan to spend over £1,000 on UK tourism. Breaking down the average spend if they were to spend all holiday time in the UK this year, they see £309 going on accommodation, £152 on food and drink and £121 on shopping.

Comparatively, the average spend per international family, including airfare, is £3,443, which spikes significantly to over £5,000 for Chinese and American tourists.

“Our research points to clear differences in preferences between different ages of traveller with regards to tech-driven innovations,” Saul added, as feedback found younger guests prefer hospitality to come with tech support.

“Offering guests tailored experiences will be key to success for operators in the UK hospitality and leisure sector in 2017.”

Image: Shutterstock

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