Visit our website: | bandbnews.co.uk | 11 Dierdre wells UKinbound chief executive Deirdre Wells (above) said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to hear that confidence levels have spiked for our members, exceeding those experienced pre- and post-Brexit. “Further positive news was reported via our survey with 44% of our members stating that bookings and visitor numbers in July and August 2016 were up year-on-year.The weakness of the pound, increased demand from European markets and better weather were all cited as reasons behind the increase.” She added: “These results show that the UK inbound tourism industry should be cautiously optimistic. “It is imperative this trend continues but we need the support and backing of the government through a strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination; along with continued access to the single market and the open skies agreement.” Almost three quarters (71%) of members ranked free movement of visitors from the European Union as the top policy that the government should address with Brussels, followed by the free movement of migrant workers. Wells said: “This is an important issue for our members and we will continue working with the government to address this requirement, ensuring residency for our members’ employees is addressed.” The hospitality and tourism industry is the UK’s fourth largest industry, employing 4.49 million people. Hospitality alone accounted for one in five of all new jobs created in the UK between 2010 and 2014. Over the past five years the industry has delivered 331,000 new jobs and is on track to deliver a further 100,000 new jobs by the end of the decade. It represents 10% of GDP, equivalent to £143 billion.