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Staycations are on the rise and many holiday companies are taking advantage of this by promoting their holidays to those already resident in the UK.  However, should the UK market be the only market they target?  Here, Holiday Cottage Compare founder and Managing Director Paula Alexander explains why whilst staycations may be on the rise, so is tourism from overseas.

Holidays to Britain from abroad

According to Visit Britain’s 2016/17 figures, £713 was spent every second in the UK by an inbound tourist (Source).  This was up 4% from 2015 and with the drop in the pound since Brexit, holidays to the UK have since become even more popular.

You might expect summer to be the time for the most difference in visits, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.  The Office for National Statistics compared visits to the UK in August 2016 to August 2017 and 3.9million more people visited from abroad in 2017 – an increase of 3% (Source)  By contrast, when looking at the percentage change from this April and the previous year, there’s an increase of 23% reported to have visited in the UK from abroad.

Who is visiting the UK from abroad?

This begs the question – who is it that is wants to visit the UK for their holiday?  Travel marketing experts Sojern say that most tourism to the UK is from the United States.  Second to the US are staycations.  Then, there’s Spain, Italy and Australia in that order.

Travel analysts ForwardKeys reported that travel to the UK is up 18% on last year and posted an interesting insight on its Facebook page:

“Flight bookings from #China to the #UK for September to November are tracking 10% up on the same period last year.”

What attracts tourists to the UK?

In an article reported by The Guardian earlier this year, Patricia Yates, director of Visit Britain commented on what American and Chinese visitors like to do when they’re in the UK:

“Even smaller hotels in Wales are saying they are seeing American visitors. Not only do they go to London, they travel around and explore the regions. They are great visitors to have.”

“Chinese people are motivated by value,” Yates said. “Britain is looking cheaper. Chinese visitors tend to spend a lot so retailers are keen to see them. They love our history and culture but there has to be good shopping, too.”

What will make the UK’s tourist industry continue to grow in 2018?

People living in the UK are still the second most common group of people to actually holiday in the UK.

Cornwall remains the top destination of choice, followed by Devon and North Wales (Source) Therefore continuing to target holidays to UK residents remains vitally important. 

There’s also the growing ‘short breaks’ market which is highly valuable for filling mid-week or long weekends gaps when there are no full week bookings. 

By providing both for residents in the UK and making it easy for visitors from abroad to book holidays, tourism in the UK will continue to be even more successful over the coming year.

About the author

Paula Alexander founded Holiday Cottage Compare to make it quicker and easier for holidaymakers to find their perfect holiday cottage, whatever their requirements.

From searching for a cottage anywhere during, for example, July, August and September to opting for somewhere with a thatched roof and hot tub that accepts three dogs, Holiday Cottage Compare uses the industry’s most flexible search functionality and widest range of filters to present the holidaymaker with their perfect cottage, drawn from a range of over 10,000 properties throughout the UK.

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