British hotels set for bumper year as international interest rises 63%

British hotels and the leisure industry are set for a record year with a substantial increase in both home and international visitors planning holidays in the UK, according to new research uncovered by Barclays.

The Barclays Corporate Banking report, Destination UK: driving growth in the UK hospitality and leisure sector reveals the 2017 holiday and leisure preferences of almost 10,000 guests from the UK, continental Europe, the US, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Among the 63% of international holidaymakers who said they are more interested in holidaying in the UK than this time last year, perhaps unsurprisingly, 31% cited the weaker pound.

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However, more attention grabbing is the fifth of respondents reporting that TV programmes like The Crown are driving British appeal, particularly among Chinese (44%) and US (26%) guests, and that high-profile advertising campaigns (29%) are having their effect on overseas audiences.

Greater spending power (30%) was also cited as a key reason why they were more interested in visiting the UK in 2017.

The staycation’s popularity also continues to rise, with nearly a third (30%) of UK holidaymakers expecting to spend more of their holiday time in the UK this year.

The convenience of holidaying at home is the primary draw. Half of UK respondents choosing a UK break described the familiarity of food, language and travel options as making the UK ‘hassle free’ with 31% now more aware of UK holiday options.

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.”

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