Inbound tourism in September falls for the first time in three months

20 December 2017 by
Inbound tourism in September falls for the first time in three months

The number of visitors entering the UK dropped by 1% in September, a contrast to the 6% and 5% increase seen in July and August.

According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA)'s Travel Monitor, the fall was driven by a decline in visitor numbers from North America which were down 8% in both August and September. These falls come after a 28% rise in visitor numbers from North America for the first half of 2017.

Short haul travel numbers also declined by 0.3%, despite the previous increase in August of 8%. Inbound holiday passenger numbers grew 1.7%, a figure which was significantly down on the 15% rise seen in the year to date. Business travellers to the UK also declined by 18% in September.

Overall UK spend by overseas residents grew 2% compared to a 9% growth during the year to date.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: "It is disheartening to see visitor numbers decline after positive growth for the previous three months. This fall has been largely driven by a reduction in passenger numbers from North America and this demonstrates, in part, the knock-on effect that this year's tragic terror attacks have had on long haul bookings.

"The BHA travel monitor also notes that the number of business travellers to the UK again declined, falling by 18% year-on-year for the month of September. This is an important reminder to the Government of the need to recognise the priorities of business when negotiating Brexit."

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