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United Kingdom Tourism Report Q1 2012
Business Monitor International, November 2011, Pages: 47
A great number of visitors will be travelling to the UK to attend or be a part of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London. While tourism in 2012 will increase due to the amount of people from around the world attending the games – BMI forecasts 35.08mn tourist arrivals in 2012 – arrivals are also forecast to increase following the events. The ‘legacy effect’ of the games, thanks to the media exposure and publicity associated with the Olympics (3.9bn people watched the games in Sydney in 2000) can last for up to a decade following the event. According to research by the national tourism agency VisitBritain, VisitLondon and Oxford Economics, in the post-games period of 2013-2017, a legacy effect of GBP1.27bn is forecast for the UK and of GBP0.88bn for London.
UK transport group Stobart is working on expanding Southend Airport, which is a 50-minute train ride from London, into another feeder for the capital. The group is hoping to capitalise on the increase in air traffic associated with the Olympic Games in 2012. Stobart has completed the construction of a new railway station and control tower, while the runway extension and airport hotel construction are ongoing. Stobart expects Air Arann to carry 300,000 passengers a year to Southend. In April 2012, easyJet plans to begin flights from the airport.
After dropping in 2009 to less than US$27.14mn, tourist expenditure started to climb back up in 2010, reaching US$29.41mn by the end of the year. BMI forecasts expenditure by tourists in the UK to continue to increase to US$32.02mn in 2011 and US$34.16 in 2012, before reaching almost US$40mn by 2015. Also forecast to increase is tourism expenditure’s contribution to the UK’s GDP. In 2010, tourism expenditure accounted for 2.02% of GDP. This is expected to rise to 2.09% in 2011 and 2.13% in 2012. This is expected to increase to 2.17% by 2015.
Europe is the UK’s main regional source market for inbound tourism. The region is forecast to account for 25.30mn tourists in 2011 and 26.99mn in 2012. This is predicted to increase to 32.92mn by 2015. In second and third place are North America and the Asia Pacific region. In 2012, 4.39mn tourists are expected to visit the UK from North America, while 3.58mn will come from Asia Pacific. By 2015, Asia Pacific arrivals are forecast to outpace North American arrivals slightly at 4.77mn compared to 4.47mn.
After decreasing in 2009, international tourism expenditure by UK residents is forecast to increase from US$85.04mn in 2012 to US$105.32mn in 2015. In line with this forecast, the number of total departures by residents is also forecast to increase, from 70.63mn in 2012 to 77.15mn in 2015. The majority of UK residents visit Europe, with 54.77mn expected to head to the region in 2012 and 58.32mn forecast to travel to Europe in 2015. In distant second and third place are North America and Asia Pacific. In 2012, 4.60mn UK residents are forecast to travel to North America, while 4.74mn will travel to Asia Pacific. Out of the two regions, Asia Pacific should experience the most growth by 2015, with 6.19mn UK residents making it their destination of choice and only 4.65mn going to North America.
The UK hotel industry is forecast to grow. Despite the recession, though for some hoteliers because of it, operators are expanding in the UK. The country’s largest hotel operator, Whitbread, planned to open 18 hotels in 2011 and steadily increase the number thereafter. A third Four Seasons hotel is scheduled to open in 2014 in London and the budget hotel chain Travelodge is building 13 new hotels in and around major cities, including four in the London area.
Business Monitor International's United Kingdom Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, tourism associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on United Kingdom's tourism industry.
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