The number of tourists visiting the UK has declined for a second month, according to the British Hospitality Association's (BHA) Travel Monitor, which has issued a warning about the effects of Brexit on hospitality.
The latest figures revealed that there were 450,000 fewer inbound holiday visitors in the year to October compared to the same period in 2015. The Travel Monitor had reported a 400,000 drop in the previous month.
Launched by the BHA last month, the new travel monitor tracks inbound holiday passenger numbers. It has found that the main driver for inbound growth was visiting friends and family, which was up by 695,000 for the year to October.
The BHA also found that outbound numbers continue to grow, suggesting a slowdown in the staycation market.
Chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said that the data suggested predictions of a post Brexit surge for hospitality had been incorrect.
She added: "We launched The BHA Travel Monitor so that we can provide, through detailed and structured analysis of passenger data, a true picture of hospitality and tourism performance. Our analysis has shown that there is increasing pressure on the industry through lower inbound holiday passengers and higher outbound holiday passengers.
"With political and economic uncertainty increasing it is more important than ever to ensure UK tourism can compete. The UK continues to have on average twice the tourism VAT rate across Europe. Alongside businesses investing in the apprenticeship levy, the national living wage and rising business rates, this signals concern for businesses in the industry, 4 out of 5 of which are SMEs.
"The BHA Travel Monitor sets a worrying trend for the short term future of the hospitality and tourism industry which, as the fourth largest sector employing 4.49 million people, is crucial to the UK economy."
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