Almost two thirds of international travellers are more interested in holidaying in the UK than this time last year, according to a new poll.
The Barclays Corporate Banking report survey of almost 10,000 guests showed that the weak pound was attracting more tourists with 30% citing greater spending power as a key reason to visit.
Meanwhile, the staycation’s popularity also continues to rise, with 30% of UK holidaymakers expecting to spend more of their holiday time in the UK this year.
The research reveals that the average British budget for UK breaks is £800 with over a fifth (22%) of holidaymakers planning to spend more than £1,000 on their UK getaways. During their staycations, Brits also expect to spend an average of £309 on accommodation, £152 on dining out and £121 on shopping, if they were to spend time holidaying in the UK this year.
Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality & Leisure at Barclays, said: “2017 looks set to be a strong year for the British hospitality sector with both domestic and international visitors increasingly intent on spending more time here.
While the impact of a weak sterling, at least temporarily, has boosted the UK’s international appeal, underlying this increase is the quality of our hospitality industry today and the UK’s enduring appeal as a truly world class destination. Those holidaymakers who are more likely to visit today than 12 months ago are doing so for a range of reasons including the effect of UK operators’ advertising campaigns, the attraction of British TV programmes that have gone global and a case of simply having more money available to spend on holidays from which the UK is set to benefit.”
The average length of a UK visit is just over one week at 9 days and the average budget for planned holidays this year per family, including airfares is £3443. However, American and Chinese guests blow even larger budgets on their planned holidays this year with average spends of £5230 and £5424 respectively. Visitors from China and the US also have significantly larger shopping budgets, with visitors from these countries having an average of £800 and £713 to spend in British shops respectively, compared to the overall budget of £453 set aside by international visitors on average.
The research also shows that younger UK consumers are more interested in a high-tech approach to the leisure sector than older consumers. Over a third (36%) of 18-34s would be more likely to use a bar that invested in automated drinks dispensing, compared to just 6% of the 55 and overs. Younger consumers are also more comfortable with automated ordering in restaurants, with 43% of 18-34s saying they would be more likely to use such a restaurant compared to 14% of the 55 and overs.
The current trend towards upmarket cinemas and bowling centres serving alcohol are also more popular with younger consumers. Nearly a third (30%) of 18-34s said they would be more likely to use a cinema that served alcohol, compared to half of all consumers 55+ who said that it would put them off. Regions such as London where this trend is most established, were much more likely to be interested (37%) than guests from other regions such as the East of England where only one in ten (17%) would be more likely to visit a cinema that offered alcohol.
Saul said: “Our research points to clear differences in preferences between different ages of traveller with regards to tech-driven innovations. Offering guests tailored experiences will be key to success for operators in the UK hospitality and leisure sector in 2017.”