Unfortunately, the Q3 figures will be released in January so it is going to be quite a while before we find out the results for 2018 as a whole. However, the figures are not looking good for the YTD, total tourism is down 7% by volume and 5% by value across the UK. This is somewhat surprising as the modelling did predict that tourism to the UK should be rising due to relative weakness of the pound, VB predicted a 6% increase this year.
Adrian Greason-Walker, WTA Policy Advocate said, 'What is particularly disappointing is that Overseas Visitor Numbers from April to June were worse for Wales than the UK as a whole, down 9% with spend down 4%. This at a time of a weakened pound, when we would normally be expecting an uplift'. By comparison outbound tourism is holding up well being down just 2% by volume and 0% by value. Therefore weakness of Sterling; wage growth struggling to beat inflation and the good weather we had this summer, seems to have has had little impact on UK residents wanting to travel overseas.
Of note is Scotland, which is again bucking the trend with Visitor numbers. However, what does not make much sense is that even though Scotland has experienced a 30% increase in visitor numbers in the first half of 2018, the IPS figures suggest that there has been no change in the revenue generated by these visitors. More questions than answers from the ONS.