The tourism industry is fundamental to economic growth in the UK and accounts for 9.6 per cent of all UK jobs.
England alone represents over 80 per cent of the total UK tourist value, while London is one of the world’s leading international tourist destinations with overseas retail shoppers in the capital worth around £2 billion. With roughly 37 million overseas visitors a year, the tourism industry contributes approximately £26 billion to the economy and is the UK’s seventh largest export earner.
Whilst Brexit poses risks for the tourism industry, it also presents opportunities. Following on from substantial strategic investments on events such as the Olympics, the industry must continue to take full advantage of the momentum gained by the big increase in visitors to the UK and promote Britain as one of the world’s top destinations.
The depreciation of the pound makes Britain a cheaper destination in relative terms. This should mean an expansion to the core markets of America and Europe on the agenda, as well as an increase in Chinese visitors favouring luxury personal goods. The falling pound also means an opportunity to grow tourism as a local industry, with staycations on the rise.
Despite competition from emerging markets and Brexit-orientated risks, the tourism industry shows strong potential for long-term growth. The sector will have to work closely with the Government in order to fully exploit all opportunities for growth and maintain the success of the industry.