Slump in sterling having little impact on travel, claims Sojern

Slump in sterling having little impact on travel, claims Sojern

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The slump in the value of sterling amid Brexit fears has yet to have a major impact on foreign travel, although the length of trips being taken to the US is falling.

The findings come today (Wednesday) in a global travel insight report for the first quarter of the year compiled by performance marketing specialist Sojern.

The value of the pound tumbled below $1.4 in February, the lowest rate since the mid-1980s due to a “growing risk” of the UK leaving the European Union.

The study says: “The weaker pound hasn’t had a great impact on the top destinations for UK travellers yet, however, one trend Sojern has observed is around trip duration. 
 
“We see a steady decline in the year-on-year share of long trip durations from the UK to the US over recent months. 

“From July 2015 until March 2016, we see a steady decrease in the share of trips from the UK to the US lasting 12 days or more. This hit its lowest point with a decrease of 16% in February 2016 when the pound plummeted.”

However, sporting events over the summer are set to spur more travel as supporters look to attend the European Football Championships in June and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August. 

The Euro 2016 tournament in France is attracting most interest from Portugal, with the UK not far behind with an increase in week-on-week travel intent of 111% followed by Germany, Italy and Spain, the study reveals.

The UK is showing a 287% increase in travel intent to Rio for the Olympics, placing the nation in fifth place behind Japan, Hungary, Italy and Greece.

The data shows that 64% of UK travellers are looking to maximise their stay and spend 12 days or more at the Olympics, the highest percentage globally. 

“With the games spanning 16 days, it seems that UK travellers are looking to cheer on the UK team for much of the duration of the event,” Sojern says. 

Meanwhile, the top five short haul destinations for European travellers this summer are currently London, Barcelona, Palma, Paris and Lisbon, with 26% of travellers choosing to stay for 12 days or more.

New York City is the top long-haul destination for European travellers, followed by Bangkok, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

The report says: “It’s no surprise that the majority of European families planning short haul summer holidays are heading to Palma with Malaga in fourth position.  For families looking to venture further afield, New York City is still in the top position, followed by Orlando in second place.”

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