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Published on Friday, March 24, 2017

Sharp drop in Brits travelling to the US


Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show a sharp drop in the number of Brits travelling to North American in January, the month when Donald Trump became President.

While the overall number of Brits going abroad jumped 9% to 4.6 million visits in January, the number of Brits going to the US fell 17%.

The figures reflect fears that Trump's election win would damage US tourism.

A Travelzoo poll undertaken before Trump's victory found 31% of Brits said they would reconsider travel to the US following a Trump win, while 20% said they would definitely not go on holiday there.

The ONS said part of the drop could be explained by January 2016 being a particularly strong month for outbound trips to the US, but said there was still a significant drop.

The pound had also weakened against the dollar following the Brexit vote.

Based on previous years, the ONS said it would expect to see a rise in visitors to the US in January compared with December, but this year was an exception.

While 250,000 Brits travelled to the US in December, the figure fell to 230,000 in January.

In comparison, 276,000 Brits travelled to North America in January 2016, either for business, leisure or to see friends and family.

While travel to the US dropped, visits to Europe rose 12% and visits to other countries (every other country outside Europe and the US), rose by 8% in January compared to January 2016.

Worldwide, Brits spent more too - £2.6 billion - a 5% increase.

Meanwhile, overseas residents made 2.9 million visits to the UK in January 2017, 11% more than the year before.

Overseas visitors spent £1.5 billion on their visits to the UK in January 2017, a 15% year-on-year- jump.

In the three months to January 2017, the number of visits to the UK increased by 13% to 8.8 million.

The largest rise was in visits from North America, up 19%.

Holiday visits for this period rose by 22%, largely driven by the increase in holiday visits during November 2016 when compared with November 2015.

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  • Probably short term

    Maybe the trend will reverse again following the electronics ban as it gets more inconvenient to fly East.

    By Cathie O'Dea, Friday, March 24, 2017

  • Brits

    Were these 'Brits' of Muslim origin?

    By Joe Curry, Friday, March 24, 2017

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