The battering of the British pound by the strong euro and US dollar is drawing more visitors to British shores, according to flight search engine, 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 expensive.
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, displaying a much greater rise than for the same period last year.
The French have displayed the most interest, with flight searches up by 70% compared to this time last year; indeed this week the French press has been encouraging readers to take advantage of the weak pound for London shopping trips.
The Americans and Spanish are following closely behind the French, but Canadians have not followed in the footsteps of their neighbours, with flight searches to the UK from Canada showing almost no change from normal.
Rob Innes, head of marketing for Skyscanner, commented:
“We are seeing increasing interest for the UK; not surprising given the strength of the euro and US dollar against the pound, meaning 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 work out cheaper than holidaying at home.”
Skyscanner is the most powerful and flexible flight search engine in Europe, providing instant online comparison on flight prices for over 670,000 routes on over 600 airlines. With Skyscanner, users can browse without having to enter specific dates or even destinations, and Skyscanner is available in 20 different languages including French, German and Spanish