UKinbound members urge greater awareness of regional attractions

UKinbound members urge greater awareness of regional attractions

Heightened awareness of regional attractions is key to enticing more international visitors to Britain, according to almost half of UKinbound members.

A quarter of members also felt that improved transport links would encourage tourists to explore more of the UK, while 23% said a lack of group accommodation was the main problem hindering visitor numbers.

Better flight connections from northern Europe to regional airports and a single pass across all local transport systems were two specific examples cited.

Members were also asked which transport infrastructure improvements should be made, with 59% stating that the UK train network should take priority.

A further 24% said an increase in international airline routes to regional airports should be top of the list.

UKinbound’s latest business barometer also analysed member trading conditions in November and December 2017, providing a full picture regarding bookings and revenue increases and decreases since the Brexit referendum.

In May and June 2016, 27% of members reported a year-on-year increase in bookings and 30% increase in revenues, which rose to 81% and 83% respectively in January and February 2017.

But this figure steadily declined throughout 2017 to 34% and 33% respectively in November and December.

A similar trend can be seen regarding confidence levels over the same period. In July 2016 42% of members were confident about business in the impending 12 months, raising to 86% in March 2017. This had dropped down to 54% by January 2018.

Commenting on the results released at the organisation’s annual convention in Cardiff, UKinbound CEO Deirdre Wells said: “It’s clear that the boost our members’ experienced post EU referendum has subsided.

“This means that it is critical that we work with the government to secure a Tourism Sector Deal as part of the Modern Industrial Strategy to deliver future productivity and growth to our £25 billion industry.”

She added: “We share our members’ views that further promotion of our regional attractions, better transport connections and increased group accommodation would encourage more international guests to visit the UK’s nations and regions.

“We will continue to call on the government to deliver a world-class transport infrastructure which can help our businesses grow.”

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