UKinbound members ‘cautiously optimistic’ as confidence levels rise

UKinbound members are “cautiously optimistic” about the future as confidence levels see a small increase.

More than half of members (60%) polled in September and October confirmed they were confident about the upcoming 12 months, an increase of 7% on July and August.

The US remains the main growth market but dipped slightly, with a quarter of members not seeing growth from any overseas markets.

However, forward bookings look good and overseas clients remain optimistic. A closer partnership with China was also cited as a reason for optimism.

Bookings, visitor numbers and customer orders were higher or the same as last year for 72% of respondents, helped by targeted marketing at overseas visitors and a successful autumn half term.

More than three quarters (80%) said that yield was above or the same as 2016 figures and of those that cited yield had increased, it was by an average of 30%.

The business barometer survey also looked at the effects the favourable exchange rate is having on travel to the UK, with 57% of members stating it has resulted in improved business. Almost a quarter (23%) indicated it had led to higher spending at attractions.

UKinbound cief executive Deirdre Wells said: “It’s been an uncertain year for many of our members due to the economic and political climate, but these latest business barometer results are encouraging.

“I’m pleased to hear that confidence levels have risen and that our members are finding year-on-year figures up. This highlights the resilience of our industry.

“Looking to 2018, we await the results of the tourism sector deal bid, where we hope the tourism industry and our members receive the support and investment required for further long-term prosperity.”

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