How to keep your UK tourists in times of Brexit

Impacts on tourism after Brexit vote are not still clear and this summer Britons will travel with a pound that fell 10% down to Euro and, consequently, a weaker purchase power.

What we know from the Office for National Statistics is that UK tourists like to travel and in 2015 they increased the number of visits and their spending abroad to about the 10%.

Spain is definitely the top destination for UK travellers accounting 13 million visits in 2015, followed by France, Italy and Ireland.


Top 10 countries visited by UK residents for at least 1 night, 2015

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Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) – ONS


According to “European Tourism 2016 – Trends & Prospects (Q2/2016)” from European Travel Commission, Spain and Ireland will be the most exposed destinations due to the share of UK travellers.

But this summer, also Portugal and Greece are engaged to attracting UK tourists and keeping their spending level.

Definitely one of the levers is the price: a weaker pound means less expenditure in Euro.

For this reason, the price level at destination is a strategic aspect.

As reported to, a Spanish tourist news portal, Costa del Sol and Andalusia are the most exposed regions to UK tourists and there are initiatives aimed at making them not bearing totally the unfavourable exchange rate.

Allowing tourists to pay in pounds or offering a better exchange rate than the market are some of the measures undertaken by locals.

The safe and security aspect must be considered as the Foreign Travel Office advices that there are different degrees of danger regarding terrorism in the selected destinations.

France will be under a state of emergency until January 2017, while for Spain there is a “high” threat for terrorism. In Greece there is a “general” threat for terrorism and acts of political violence. The safest destinations this summer are supposed to be Portugal and Ireland with an “underlying” threat for terrorism, followed by Italy with a “general” one.

As reported by Hospitalitynet, according to ABTA, the UK’s largest travel association representing travel agents and tour operators, Euro-Mediterranean is set to be the top destination for Brits this summer, with important increases in bookings to specific destinations such as Portugal (23% increase year on year), Spain (22%) and Cyprus (16%). Greece continues to be popular with bookings for summer up 5% year on year.

As largely reported after the Brexit Referendum most Brits, due to the drop of the value of the pound, are oriented to perform a staycation, preferring local destinations to travelling abroad.