As the pound continues to drop on the stock market, one UK industry is currently seeing a sudden surge upwards: the tourism industry.
Whilst the UK remains one of the most visited countries in the world – particularly its cultural centres like London and Edinburgh – a weaker pound is coaxing international visitors to UK shores.
Recent data from a UK travel firm have revealed that tourists from China to the United Kingdom has increased by almost a fifth, with long-haul flight bookings to the UK increasing by 6% from last year.
The pound has been struggling for weeks after endless political uncertainty about the Conservative Leadership race for Prime Minister combined with general turmoil over Brexit.
Rates hit a 31 month low against the dollar as Boris Johnson was announced as the new leader, installed his new cabinet and sparked increasing fears of the UK crashing out of Europe without a deal on October 31st.
Analysts have argued that a weaker pound is more attractive to tourists, who now have increased spending power when they travel.
Moreover, it’s not just China – Indian visitors have increased by 20%, the Japanese at 10% and even the Americans have increased their visitation by 5% since 2018.
Tourism Office Figures
The tourism office ‘Visit Britain’ also released figures this week suggesting that increased tourism to the UK was due to a weaker pound. Analysts suggest that, because of Brexit uncertainty, visitors from abroad are making their trips now, rather than later.
Residents are also choosing to stay in the UK for the titled ‘staycation’ rather than head to the continent, which has also given the industry a boost after a lull in earlier months.
In recent months, the pound has taken a worrying drop against both the dollar and the euro, fuelled by growing uncertainty in the domestic and foreign markets over the impact of Brexit.
With increasing distrust of the current government and the country seemingly in disarray over this divisive issue, it is unlikely that the pound will recover in the near future. Many are predicting another sharp downturn, which could have a disastrous effect on the economy in the next quarter.