Tourism and hospitality sector braced for a busy Christmas

Lamont Pridmore - Accountants

The UK’s tourism and hospitality sector is bracing itself for a busy Christmas period, after figures revealed a sharp rise in the number of forward flight bookings.

According to new research, forward flight bookings to the UK from the likes of the United States, the Middle East and China are showing ‘double-digit increases’ on figures published last year.

In fact, the number of flight bookings made by people in these regions has increased as follows:

  • United States – up by 27 per cent
  • China – up by 44 per cent
  • The Middle East – up by 59 per cent

Commentators have pointed out that the increase in bookings from far-flung, long-haul destinations such as these actually echoes a much longer-term trend, which many experts suspect will continue well into 2019.

The industry is particularly keen to attract more visitors from the US in the years ahead, as Americans are reportedly the ‘most valuable inbound visitors market’ when it comes to total tourism spend, a report in Breaking Travel News suggests.

According to recent research, visitors from the US spent a record-breaking £3.6 billion in the UK last year – representative of a nine per cent increase on the amount spent in 2016.

This year, it is hoped that American visitors will once again break the record, contributing a significant amount to Britain’s economy.