Published on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Britain set for surge in US visitors

Travelzoo is predicting a surge in visitors from the US following the Brexit vote, with the value of the pound against the dollar at its lowest level in three decades.

It is reporting a 35% rise in US citizens searching for UK destinations via its US website, compared to the same time last year.

Its survey of 2,007 US consumers also shows that one third of those planning to travel in the next 12 months are considering the UK as their holiday destination.

According to tourism expert Dr Yeganeh Morakabati, associate professor at Bournemouth University, this could bring an extra £1 billion in tourism spend to the UK.

"American visitors spent over £3 billion in the UK in 2015, even with a less favourable exchange rate between the dollar and GBP," she said.

"A 35% increase in American tourist arrivals to the UK would mean at least an extra £1 billion spending; this brings American visitor spending in the UK to more than a staggering £4 billion."

In addition, she said the rise could lead to the creation of an additional 20,000 jobs in the UK, based on a report which suggests that an additional tourism spend of around £54,000 will create one new job in the UK tourism industry.

But Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo's UK managing director, said while UK tourism will benefit, outbound tourism from the UK is likely to suffer in 2017.

"Despite a strong performance for October half-term holidays, there is concern among Travelzoo's partners about Christmas and February half-term bookings. Most expect to begin to see the true impact of Brexit on outbound tourism during this booking season," he said.

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