Businesses remain confident over Brexit impact

Accommodation providers are no longer as optimistic about the forthcoming season as they were last summer – but still remain upbeat about Brexit, a new report has revealed.

Visit England’s Tourism Business Monitor 2017, published in January, showed that there was a “softening of performance” over the Christmas and New Year period for accommodation providers, compared with the same period last year.

Within both accommodation and attraction sectors, there is a continuing growing gap between the performance and confidence of the larger businesses and smaller businesses, with the former performing much more positively, the report stated.

However, Visit England’s report said that compared with opinion immediately post the Brexit referendum in early July, businesses are now much more positive about its impact – with many reporting concrete positive impacts in terms of enquiries already, particularly for the domestic market.

It found that 28% of accommodation and 15% of attraction businesses reported an increase in domestic enquiries (only 8% and 3% reported fewer enquiries respectively).

It also reported an increase in optimism for inbound visitors from Europe.

“Positivity about the future of inbound visitors from Europe is also now much improved, especially among attraction businesses,” the report said.

“Back in July, as many attractions felt that European visitors would decline (10%) as increase (9%). Now, 18% feel there will be an increase and only 12% a fall.”

Despite the referendum taking place at the end of June, 75% of accommodation sites still agree that it is too early to say what kind of impact Brexit will have long-term. However, confidence in its impact is growing – back in July, 86% felt it was too early.

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