It is a safe bet that pretty much every economy in Europe would benefit from a bumper increase in tourism, but Britain’s got it particularly hard. In fact, when you consider that the EU accounts for 12.2% of global visitor numbers, that leaves a good four-fifths of the EU wanting to get to Britain.
In contrast, the UK itself sends just 1.24% of international tourists to the EU, a figure that accounts for fewer than two million Europeans, about the same as those looking to visit the UK for football during the summer. For US visitors, the proportion is even lower – 0.31%.
Tourism to EU countries booming, with most of growth in eastern and central Europe Read more
Travel and Leisure magazine reported that in the year to May there was a 5.5% rise in tourists from Britain to the EU, and a 2.9% increase to the UK to EU. “This surge is all the more remarkable given that in April the government said it wanted to keep (most) of the effect of Brexit on its streets,” the magazine writes. “Most of the increases have come from Germany and the Netherlands.”
Tourists make up a great part of UK business travellers, making up 18% of all their spending. And European visitors contribute a fantastic 25% of European GDP from tourism. In other words, if we wanted to balance the EU budget and remain in the EU, we could always go and see the average Poland mother working in a nightclub or the Slovenian tourist strolling along the seafront.
Will this all be worth it when the pound falls further?