No wonder the UK’s tourism industry is all smiles at the moment. It’s on course to have its best year ever, easily beating the £127 billion spent in 2015. Figures just released by the Tourism Alliance show that the – Post-Brexit decision – falling pound has meant more foreign tourists being attracted to the UK and more British deciding to stay at home instead of holidaying abroad.
The net effect of all those extra tourists is pretty impressive. Spending by Britons on UK holidays is already up 17 per cent on 2015 so far this year and it’s still only September. Of course, the weather has played its part too and the shocking footage of terrorist attacks in popular destinations, including France, will have persuaded many that staying home is not such a bad idea after all.
And all those days out add up. The Alliance estimates that £725 million has already been spent across Britain’s tourist destinations. That’s a lot of ice cream cones.
The extra takings in 2016 for ‘staycations’ are set to be £2.4 billion, according to the trade body, whose members include the British Hospitality Association, ABTA and regional tourist boards. More importantly, of course is the impact this additional spending has on local economies and, in particular, jobs.
Over 40,000 extra jobs might be created in the tourism and hospitality industry as a result of all that extra income. That’s more than are now employed in the UK’s steel industry and, although some of these jobs might only be seasonal or casual, they’ll probably be a lot more fun.