Looking at the recent UK inbound Tourism growth the numbers for June show that their was a 7% increase from this time last year. 3.5m tourists came into the UK to sample some of the UK’s most popular attractions’ in London mainly but other areas like the South West of England and Scotland saw increased visitor numbers.
Looking at the demographic North American and European visitors lead the way with the biggest percentage amount which some experts are putting down to a weaker pound against the Dollar and Euro. Because of the fall in value it’s cheaper for citizens who are less economically well off to afford to travel and stay within the UK meaning a greater sized demographic can have access to the UK as a destination.
The visitors didn’t just come to the UK though, they also spent a lot of money when they were staying in the UK with increases in international spending on Britain’s high streets and shopping complexes.
For British Tourists though the mood is just a bright. From the similar time period more Outbound Tourism occurred where Brits where undeterred by the increased values of other currencies. This then saw an increase in the amount of international holidays with Spain still leading the way as the most popular destination.
So what does that tell us about the effects Brexit has had on the UK? Well first it shows the positive effects a weaker pound is having on inbound tourists. Brexit has allowed a greater demographic of tourist access to the United Kingdom and the International tourists are making full use of this.
It has shown that Brexit hasn’t damaged the appearance of the UK to the rest of the world. Many from the Stronger In camp stated that the image of the United Kingdom would be tarnished by the Brexit vote and that we would be seen as a nasty country that no international tourist would dare to visit on risk of been verbally or physically abused. These figures show clearly that that is not the case and that British tourism is going from strength to strength.
I’m proud that as a Brexitter in the light of day we can see the lies upon lies the remain camp have be saying. This was one of the first lies that would fall and it is doing so greatly and I know that there will be more lies that will be falling (“cough cough UK households losing £4,600 in real terms Mr Cameron and Mr Osbourne”) as Britain leads the way outside of the shadows of the European Union and onwards towards a brighter future globally.
But I have another message to give to the ruling Conservative and Unionist party. There is still work to be done to help the Tourism and Hospitality sector. As a current second year International Tourism Management student at the University of Surrey I am sicken and appalled by the lack of support the chancellor is providing to the sector. Under figures from our GDP the Hospitality, Events and Tourism sector is the fastest growing sector. Yet the Government are content to have way over the top red tape for non EU tourists and keeping the tax charged in the sector at 20%, yet across Europe it sits between 7-9% allowing them to charge less to tourists going to those destinations.
It’s time the Government sits up and starts supporting our Tourism sector as that is the fastest source of job and income growth in the UK.