World Tourism Day 2018

Today marks World Tourism Day 2018 and the theme for this year is ‘Tourism for Protecting Culture and Heritage’. World Tourism Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the significance of tourism and the value it can bring to a country.

Tourism delivers a whole host of advantages to a country; it has a massive impact on a country’s economy, creates employment opportunities, supports growth across numerous industries, improves cultural exchanges, develops international relations and advances infrastructure amongst many other factors.

Tourism is increasing, it is clear from the increasing number of passengers going through airports. Heathrow reported a record quarter in Q1 2018, with 17.7million passengers passing through! This consistent increase supports expansions of current airports, delivers opportunities for enhanced international trading and justifies further investment into developing airports with improved security, more staff and a diverse tenant mix to improve the overall passenger experience.

Often tourists are in the holiday mind-set and have more money readily available to spend on desirable items such as gifts, fashion, and F&B operators, benefitting our shopping centres, leisure operators, visitor attractions and hotels. Retail Gazette reported earlier this year that Chinese tourist spend in the UK has risen by almost a third – proving the real benefit tourists bring!

Due to the rise, it is not surprising the investment in hotel real estate has increased massively. BREXIT has made the UK an attractive market to international investors across the property landscape, and with tourism rising and the range of assets on offer, investment in UK hotels reached £3.2b in the first half of 2018, a 28% increase year on year.

Martin Rogers, head of UK hotel transactions at Savills, said: “This year has got off to a strong start, driven by several high-profile portfolio transactions. The UK hotel market remains attractive to both domestic and overseas investors, providing something for everyone due to the range on offer from single regional hotels to trophy assets in London. Looking ahead, we expect the market to remain active and predict the total for 2018 investment to reach around £5.4 billion.”

In addition to Savills forecast, VisitBritain is predicting 40.9 million visits in 2018, an increase of 4.4% on 2017 and a massive £26.3 billion worth of spending which would be an increase of 7.1% on 2017.

It is evident tourism plays a key role in a countries growth and development and it’s exciting to see the statistics and predictions are all pointing towards an upward trend. Tourism brings opportunities for a country to develop economically, allowing businesses to invest and implement new strategies to improve a vast array of services.

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