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UK visitor numbers up but spend down, says BHA

17 February 2017 by

Inbound holiday visitors to the UK in December rose by 15%, but there was a 2% drop in spending by overseas visitors, according to year-on-year figures from the British Hospitality Association's (BHA) Travel Monitor.

The monitor attributes the drop in spend as "likely" to be due to a 10% decrease in the number of business passengers visiting the UK in December.

This travel monitor is released on the same day VisitBritain released record-breaking figures for inbound visitors last year.

The BHA Travel Monitor, which was launched last year, reveals that outbound holiday passenger growth remained strong for the month of December, up 12% on the previous year, suggesting a slowdown in the UK staycation market.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: "It is encouraging to see a year-on-year boost in inbound holiday visitors around the Christmas period but disappointing that overall spending in the UK was lower.

"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 than that across Europe. Alongside businesses investing in the apprenticeship levy, rising business rates and the threat of online platforms such as Airbnb, this signals concern for businesses in the industry, four out of five of which are SMEs."

2016 a record-breaking year for inbound UK tourism >>

UK holiday visits from abroad up 32% in November >>

Travel monitor undermines suggestion of a Brexit bounce for tourism >>

BHA travel monitor reveals ‘no post-European referendum tourist surge' >>

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