Travel and Tourism in the UK to 2017 - New Market Study Published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Nov 05 2013

The travel and tourism sector in the UK suffered from the global economic slowdown but then recovered with the hosting of Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. Rising demand from developing countries, particularly India and China, is expected to support the recovering sector. While the UK government makes regular promotional efforts to showcase the UK as a tourist destination, lack of price competitiveness may pose a threat.

Key Highlights

* Given the recent turnarounds in global and domestic outlook, the UK’s economy is expected to grow by 1.3% in 2013 before improving to 2.4% in 2014. The economy is expected to grow robustly from the second half of 2013, with low real interest rates and improving business sentiment. The economy is forecast to grow in the range of 2.4−2.8% over 2015−2017, in line with improvements in domestic and external demand.
* The country moved up two positions from the 2011 ranking to stand in third place in the World Economic ForumÂ’s Travel and Tourism (WEF T&T) Competitiveness Index 2013. The country ranked third in terms of cultural resources, fifth in terms of airport infrastructure, and sixth for human resources in the 2013 index.
* The UK is perceived as one of the most expensive destinations in the world. The World Economic ForumÂ’s 2013 Travel and Tourism (WEF T&T) competitiveness index ranks the UK at 138th position (of 140 countries) in terms of price competitiveness. Government actions such as an increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% in January 2011 have accentuated countryÂ’s poor price competitiveness.
* BritainÂ’s five leading tourist attractions in 2011, based on figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, shows that visitors were attracted to museums and art galleries. The British Museum was the most popular site among tourists, attracting around 5.8 million visitors, closely followed by the National Gallery with 5.3 million visitors, the Tate Modern with 4.9 million visitors and the National History Museum with 4.9 million visitors. The Science Museum in South Kensington was the fifth-most popular tourist attraction, with 2.9 million visitors in 2011.
* High costs and difficulty in obtaining visas continue to be barriers to international visitors, particularly for those from emerging economies such as China and India. Increases in visa and air passenger duty charges limit the amount of people from these economies who can afford to enter the country. The situation was further aggravated by increase in the UKÂ’s VAT rates for accommodation and restaurants, which are twice as high as the average in mainland Europe.

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