The battering of the British pound by the strong euro and US dollar is drawing more visitors to British shores, according to Skyscanner.
Though British tourists are braced for a more expensive year of holidaying in Europe and the USA, our European and American friends are taking advantage of the pound’s decline (which has hit a 24 year low against the US dollar) to visit the UK, a country traditionally viewed as one of the most expensive in Europe.
Data from Skyscanner shows that searches for flights to the UK from the US, Spain, France and Germany have all risen over the last three months, showing a much greater rise than during the same period last year.
The French have displayed the biggest increase in interest, with flight searches up by 70% compared to this time last year. The French press have been heavily encouraging readers to visit London to pick up shopping bargains.
US Americans and the Spanish are following closely behind, but Canadians have not followed in the footsteps of their neighbours, with flight searches to the UK from Canada showing almost no change.
Rob Innes, head of marketing for Skyscanner, commented on the increase of UK flight searches:
“We are seeing increasing interest for the UK; not surprising given the strength of the euro and US dollar against the pound which means that the UK is now about 20% cheaper for those in the eurozone, and 35% cheaper for Americans, compared to this time last year.”
“This is obviously very good news for the UK tourist industry, especially at a time when unemployment is rising” said Innes.
However, the potential downside is that Britons hoping for a cheap holiday in the UK this year will be competing with more foreign tourists for accommodation and travel deals. Ironically, this may mean that a carefully chosen holiday abroad could still work out cheaper than holidaying at home.