British tourism suffers Post Brexit Slump

Posted by Paul Anderson Riley in Personal Finance on 15 November 2016 - Paul is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

Since the Brexit vote Sterling has fallen by over 10% against the Euro and Dollar. This change in the exchange rate should have in theory made UK tourism more accessible and appealing to foreign visitors. The figures suggest otherwise as bookings for London have reduced massively which is a real hit to the hub of UK tourism. Data from STR Global reveals that in comparison to a year earlier, October empty bed rates for hotels in London had increased by over one third. Hotels and traditional accommodation types also now come under threats from a new wave of accommodations including Airbnb rentals.

The occupancy rate for London has reduced by 4% from last year and is the lowest rate for the month since the financial crisis began in 2008. The reduction sees the month’s rate fall to the lowest since 2001. One of the main factors that the industry uses to keep an eye on profitability is the revenue per available room figure. Compared to the previous year this fell by 11.4%.

In comparison to London, Scotland is reporting record levels of spending since the post Brexit vote, with foreign tourists spending over £500 million from April to June this year. Figures published by the Office for National Statistics stated an increase in spending and overseas visitors in the first half of 2016. Commentators suggest that this popularity surge could be down to the appearance that Scotland is a location not under threat from terrorists and is more attractive due to the favourable exchange rate.

Professor John Lennon of Glasgow Caledonian University says “The currency at the moment, the exchange rates on the euro and the dollar are making the UK and Scotland more economical for visitors…Scotland is also seen as a relatively secure destination. We haven’t had the atrocities that have been seen in other parts of Europe. People are concerned about security and safety and so are avoiding certain destinations and making other choices instead.”

With new revelations reported every day in relation to Brexit, we will still have to wait and see what impact this has on our money, our economy and politics. Many factors can change tourism flows and the industry is just one of many that the Brexit vote will impact.

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