Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/16/2014 -- The tourism market in the UK is very well established, with a wide range of attractions drawing visitors year after year. The transport network is well developed, as is the accommodation sector, and the country has a very positive global profile thanks to the highly successful hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Inbound and outbound travel are expected to increase throughout our forecast period, and the country is likely to remain an attractive prospect for potential investors over the coming years.
While arrivals to the UK were affected by the global credit crunch, as in many markets around the world, figures have since recovered (though we may see a small decline in 2014). Our forecasts for growth of around 2% per year from 2015 onwards mean that we expect arrivals to reach 35.1mn in 2018. The tourism market will receive a boost in the form of two major international sporting events: the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2014 and the Rugby World Cup at various locations in 2015. These events will not only see a boost to local infrastructure but will lead to a large number of participants and spectators travelling to the UK, extending the spotlight cast on the country by the highly successful Olympics and expanding the country's global popularity.
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As well as larger numbers of inbound arrivals, we also expect to see impressive growth in the UK's outbound travel market. As GDP growth gathers pace and unemployment falls, more people will have disposable income to spend on travel. By 2018, we expect the number of outbound travellers to reach over 74.6mn. This is an enormous potential market, especially when you consider that domestic (internal) travel also has a strong tradition in the UK.
Although already well developed, the hotel sector is still expanding, with all of the top 10 global hotel groups already present and many planning to open new properties in 2014 and beyond. The transport network is very well developed, with several international airports providing global connectivity, and internal travel is facilitated by an extensive road and rail network. The country is therefore very well placed to support expected growth in tourism.
Key developments and forecasts include:
- As the accommodation sector is already so well established, we expect to see relatively small growth in the number of hotels - between 0.01% and 0.03% per year over our forecast period to 2018 - though we do expect to see several high-profile projects completed. - Development of airport capacity continues, with the GBP80mn (US$123.5mn) redevelopment of the terminal at Stansted Airport under way, and Birmingham and Manchester airports also the focus of expansion. - Inbound arrivals are expected to decline slightly in 2014 but increase by between 1% and 4% per year between 2015 and 2018 to reach over 35mn. Outbound departures are expected to reach more than 74.6mn in 2018. -
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