Terrorism fails to derail rise in tourism from high spending UK visitors


England’s run of shocking tragedies have been broadcast around the world, but appear to have done little to deter tourists planning to visit this summer.

The current weakness of the pound means visitors will enjoy lower hospitality costs, leaving them with even more spending money to spend on luxury watches, the country’s leading retailers will hope.

Research published by ForwardKeys, a travel and tourism analyst, shows that bookings to London for July and  August  are were 12% ahead on June 17 this year compared to where they were on the same date in 2016.


This is a significantly more positive position than the European average, which is currently 7.8% ahead.

After the London Bridge attack, there was no significant wave of cancellations for air travel to the UK; although there has been a slow-down in new bookings, ForwardKeys research shows.

Source: ForwardKeys Research.
Source: ForwardKeys Research.

Following the London Bridge attack on June 3rd, bookings were down 12% in the first week after the attack and 5% in the second week. By the end of the second week, the growth trend which has characterised most of this year appears to have started to re-establish itself.

One factor that will have dismayed central London’s luxury watch stores was an abrupt drop in high-spending tourists from Qatar. A week after the London Bridge attack there was a mass wave of cancellations from people flying from Doha to the UK due to a travel blockade imposed by Gulf countries and their allies.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is London’s largest landowner, making it a favourite destination for its large royal family, particularly during the scorching summer months, and during Ramadan, which ended on June 24.

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