Inbound down, outbound up and ‘staycation’ slowdown, says BHA

Inbound down, outbound up and ‘staycation’ slowdown, says BHA

The number of holiday visitors to the UK from abroad in November 2016 grew by almost a third year-on-year, new figures from the British Hospitality Association show.

But the figure for inbound holidaymakers was down by 1.2% in the first 11 months of 2016 at a time when the number of Britons travelling abroad rose by 6%.

Analysis from the BHA’s latest Travel Monitor shows that the total number of visitors to the UK up until November was up by 2.8% with most of the increase being in people visiting friend or relatives.

Spending by overseas visitors in total in November increased by 14.1% year-on-year.

“Outbound holiday passenger numbers continue to grow strongly, suggesting a slowdown in the UK staycation market, which is likely to be a headwind for consumer-facing businesses,” the report said.

BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “Thankfully trading in November has been very encouraging and has helped offset poor performance earlier in the year.

“The low rate of sterling presents a great opportunity for our industry to welcome an increasing number of foreign visitors 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 UK tourism can compete. The UK continues to have on average twice the tourism VAT rate than that 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, four out of five of which are SMEs.”

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