Hospitality Today Summer 2017 (#38) - Page 29

hospitalitytoday.com | 29 Number of European tourists visting UK down Data from the British Hospitality Association’s (BHA) Travel Monitor has shown inbound passengers declined 2% year on year in May 2017. This is a significant slowdown in growth compared to the 28% rise of inbound tourists to the UK in the first four months of 2017. Inbound passenger numbers were also down versus May 2015, driven by a 10% decline in passengers from Europe. A factor in the decline of Europeans visiting the UK could a be a short-term impact of the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester. The BHA’s Travel Monitor showed a decline in European visitors was partially offset by robust growth from North America up 35%. “The lack of regulation is a concern, not just for traditional accommodation providers, but especially for cities and residents. “In addition, consumers’ rights and safety should be protected by regulation but if Airbnb guests encounter a problem, they have to rely on improvised measures by the platform.” Dirk Bakker, Head of EMEA Hotels at Colliers International says: “Airbnb is no longer just an accommodation site for individuals letting out their ow n homes. People are now buying residential properties specifically for Airbnb, which has the potential to dilute neighbourhoods and become a social issue for residential areas, creating transient zones. “This is already evident in Amsterdam and Barcelona for example and local councils are taking great steps to navigate these issues.” The differentiation in inbound tourism growth from the two continents could show long-haul travel holding up better in the wake of the terrorist incidents due to the longer booker period to travel. Despite the 2% fall in visitor numbers, overall UK spend by overseas residents grew 5% - likely due to growth of inbound tourism from North America. Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA said: “We launched the BHA Travel Monitor so that we can provide through detailed and structured analysis of passenger data, a true picture of hospitality and tourism performance. “Our analysis has shown that while inbound tourism has grown significantly, there may be a short-term drop due to the tragic terrorist incidents earlier this year.”