No surge in UK tourism following EU referendum, says BHA

The fall in the value of sterling after the EU referendum has not led to an increase in incoming tourists to Britain according to the latest official data. Contrary to initial reports that tourists were flocking to the UK to take advantage of the cheaper pound, statistics from the British Hospitality Association show that tourist arrivals have dropped.

The BHA says 385,000 fewer holidaymakers came to the UK in the first nine months of the year, down 3.5 per cent on the same period last year.

However, overall there were 700,000 more foreign visitors due to a 3.8 per cent increase in business travel and 8.2 per cent more people visiting friends and relatives.

The BHA Travel Monitor, which will be published monthly and quarterly, also highlights a 1.4 per cent year-on-year decrease in overall spend by overseas visitors to the UK during the first half of the year. Tourists' spending was down by £323million (-6 per cent) over 2014, but compared with last year there was an increase of 24 per cent in 'miscellaneous spend', including shopping trips.

"We launched The BHA Travel Monitor so we can provide, through detailed analysis of passenger data, a true picture of hospitality and tourism performance,” says chief executive Ufi Ibrahim.

The Travel Monitor found that, contrary to expectations following the EU referendum and the rise in the cost of foreign currency, there has been a 5.5 per cent surge in the number of Britons travelling abroad so far this year. In September the number of outbound tourists rose 10.1 per cent compared to the same month last year.