ABTA forecasts domestic tourism boost in 2017

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has forecast a boost for domestic tourism in 2017 as uncertainty continues around Brexit and value of the pound.

In its Travel Trends Report 2017, ABTA said that 2016 had been a strong year for tourism in the UK and, in particular, domestic tourism drove up the overall increase in the average number of holidays taken per person.

According to VisitEngland, domestic beach and countryside holidays are growing in popularity with a variety of accommodation options such as glamping making this type of trip increasingly appealing.
“Families remain key to the domestic market,” ABTA said in its report.

“Young families were once again the most likely group to take domestic holidays in 2016, with research from ABTA fi nding an average of 3.3 domestic holidays per person for this group, compared to a national average of 2.0.”

Brexit VoteHigh profile and political events impacted on tourism

ABTA said that many European destinations were impacted by high profile events including terrorist attacks in Brussels, Munich, Nice and Istanbul, an attempted military coup in Turkey and the Zika virus in parts of the Americas, Asia and the Caribbean.

It said that it was “impossible to ignore the impact of political events,” with the UK voting to leave the EU one of the most significant.

“Whilst Brexit dominated the headlines, it did not have much immediate impact on holiday taking during 2016. However, the subsequent fall in the value of the pound instantly hit holidaymakers and their spending power overseas. Consumer confidence levels have held up well in the months since the referendum result, but the full ramifications of Brexit will not be known for many years.

“With uncertainty around Brexit and currency fluctuations expected to continue throughout 2017, it seems likely that domestic tourism may see a boost next year.”

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