British hotels and the leisure industry are set for a record year with a substantial increase in both home and international visitors planning holidays in the UK. According to the Barclays Corporate Banking report ‘Destination UK: driving growth in the UK hospitality and leisure sector’, 63% of international holidaymakers said they are more interested in holidaying in the UK than this time last year, with 31% citing the weaker pound.
A fifth of the survey’s 10,000 respondents said that TV programmes like The Crown are driving British appeal, particularly among Chinese (44%) and US (26%) guests, and that high-profile advertising campaigns (29%) are having their effect on overseas audiences. Greater spending power (30%) was also cited as a key reason why they were more interested in visiting the UK in 2017.
The summer is also set to see lots of “staycations” with nearly a third of UK holidaymakers expecting to spend more of their holiday time in the UK this year. Half of UK respondents choosing a UK break described the familiarity of food, language and travel options as making the UK ‘hassle free’ with 31% now more aware of UK holiday options. Nearly four in 10 respondents of those citing cost as a factor behind a UK break said the weaker pound made holidays in the UK preferable to those abroad, and 39% said a domestic holiday represents better value for money in 2017.
During their staycations, Brits expect to spend an average of £309 on accommodation, £152 on dining out and £121 on shopping, if they were to spend time holidaying in the UK this year. Mike Saul, head of hospitality & leisure at Barclays, said: “2017 looks setto be a strong year for the British hospitality sector with both domestic and international visitors increasingly intent on spending more time here. “While the impact of a weak sterling, at least temporarily, has boosted the UK’s international appeal, underlying this increase is the quality of our hospitality industry today and the UK’s enduring appeal as a truly world class destination.0