Business

Tourism 'will hold up' after Brexit

Tourists outside Buckingham Palace watching as guardsmen take part in the Changing of the Guard in central London Image copyright AFP

Tourism in the UK will "hold up well" in 2016 after the Brexit vote but fewer jobs than expected will be created in the longer term, executives have said.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is predicting growth in the sector of 3.6% in the UK over the year.

This is higher than predicted global growth in the sector of 3.1%.

It said falling domestic spending would be offset by international visitors loosening the purse strings owing to a more favourable exchange rate.

Impact

The WTTC said that, despite the initial solidity of the sector in the UK, there would be some added pressures in the next few years owing to the UK's vote to leave the EU.

It said that the benefit in terms of overseas visitors' spending from a weaker pound would wear off in 2018 to 2020.

General economic growth in the UK would be weaker and that would affect the industry.

"By 2020, we now expect that the UK travel and tourism sector will support 1.88 million direct jobs, which is approximately 75,000 fewer jobs than forecast in the annual update at the start of the year," it said in its latest economic update.

Earlier this month, travel researcher ForwardKeys said Brexit had had an "immediate, positive impact" on tourism to the UK. It said flight bookings to the UK jumped since June, driven by the sharp fall in the pound, with 4.3% more flights booked to the UK in the 28 days following the vote than last year.

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