UKinbound Reports Sharp Rise In Confidence Levels Across UK Tourism Sector

UKinbound has released its latest business barometer results indicating that confidence levels across the UK inbound tourism spectrum are at a 12 month high. Results also show that July/August bookings and visitor numbers were up year-on-year, with the US leading as the top inbound growth market.

Outcomes were gathered through a UKinbound survey of its members, with 67% confirming they are confident that bookings and visitor revenues will develop positively in the 12 months ahead. In comparison, back in May/June this year, just 42% of members were optimistic about the forthcoming year.

UKinbound’s chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells OBE said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to hear that confidence levels have spiked for our members, exceeding those experienced pre and post Brexit. Further positive news was reported via our survey with 44% of our members stating that bookings and visitor numbers in July and August 2016 were up year-on-year. The weakness of the pound, increased demand from European markets and better weather were all cited as reasons behind the increase.

“These results show that the UK inbound tourism industry should be cautiously optimistic. It is imperative this trend continues but we need the support and backing of the Government through a strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination; along with continued access to the Single Market and the Open Skies Agreement.”

In the survey, 71% of members ranked free movement of visitors from the EU as the top policy that the Government should address with the European Union. This was followed by the free movement of migrant workers.

On this, Wells continued “This is an important issue for our members and we will continue working with the Government to address this requirement, ensuring residency for our members’ employees is addressed.”

The business barometer also highlighted that the USA leads as the top inbound growth market in July and August. In contrast, UK inbound tourism saw a continued decline in visitors from the French market.