Why isn’t the UK attracting more tourists?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

“Results in Northern Europe were flat due to the weakness of arrivals to the United Kingdom.”

Tower of London
Is our heritage losing its appeal?

The sentence is one taken from the press release issued by UNWTO for its latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

With a pound weaker against the euro (until recenetly it was about €1.11 to £1) and the US dollar why aren’t more tourists coming to the UK. The answer is that more are coming but in percentage growth terms, the number is falling behind that of other places.

Is it wrong to suggest not that the UK has reached saturation point but that it is because fears over Brexit might be deterring people from visiting? As I mentioned a few days ago, Brexit is flagged up by the UNWTO as a reason for less strong growth this year compared to last.

On the face of it that seems unlikely because the UK is cheaper to visit, visa restrictions have been relaxed for more nations and the number of direct flights from different destinations around the world into the UK has grown. In many other countries this would result in an increase more in line with the UNWTO figures but not here.

Therefore there has to be a reason for a declining lack of interest in the country.  Could it be that the current marketing by Visit Britain needs to be refreshed to reach a different or wider audience? If a royal wedding doesn’t stimulate interest – especially because of an American bride – what will it take to attract more visitors? It is unlikely that Brexit is the sole reason but it is probably a significant contributor and something can be done about that.

Sooner or later the British government and politicians from whatever party have to understand that their parliamentary shenanigans are affecting an important industry. the question is whether it is too late.

Other industries like the agriculture, the motor industry, aerospace (the boss of Airbus lambasted the government handling of Brexit on Thursday) and manufacturing have pointed out the effect Brexit is having – the travel industry hasn’t been as vociferous! And we poor holidaymakers are stuck not knowing how we’ll be affected.

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