How Will Tourism to the UK Fare After Brexit?
Photo courtesy Thinkstock.
Everything is up in the air after Britons approved the “leave” campaign in its Brexit referendum. One thing is clear this morning, however, the British pound has taken a nosedive and the currency when compared to the dollar is hovering around $1.35, levels not seen for 31 years, since around 1985.
What does this mean if you are traveling to the U.K. from the U.S.? All of Britain is basically on sale. Flights, hotels, food, tours are all going to be less expensive – for the moment.
At VisitBritain, they are still expecting strong summer travel numbers.
“We offer a warm welcome to our many European visitors,” said a VisitBritain spokesperson. “We are anticipating a strong summer holiday season as we continue our global #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ marketing campaign to show people why they should book a holiday and come and visit Britain. It’s a great summer to come to Britain.”
While today saw the plunge of the stock market and a plummeting pound, who knows what tomorrow will bring as this is one of the only times a country has voted to leave the E.U., and certainly the first time a prominent economic partner has decided to depart.
And, while visitors from long-haul markets such as Australia, India and the U.S. might be excited to take advantage of lower prices within the U.K. for the near term, it’s uncertain how Europeans – who make up approximately 75 percent of U.K. visitor numbers, will react to the vote.
READ MORE: Brexit and the UK's Hotel Industry
According to TravelZoo research compiled before the Brexit vote, the EU referendum could cost the U.K.’s tourism industry as much as £4.1 billion per year in international tourist spending alone. The research concluded that one-third of travelers from Germany, Italy and Spain – and a quarter from France – said that they would be less inclined to travel to the U.K. in the event of a Leave vote. Four in 10 respondents from EU countries also are concerned that Brexit could, eventually, make U.K. holidays more expensive.
Respondents in the survey from the U.S. and Canada also indicated that they may be less likely to visit Britain if #Brexit succeeds.
Obviously in the short term, effects look to be minor and even could bring a boost to tourism. But now that Brexit has passed, it will be interesting to see if the most dire of predictions comes true and, if over time, harm does come to tourism within the U.K.
More by Janeen Christoff
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