Sunday 18 March 2018

New fund and sterling drop to give UK tourism a post-Brexit boost

London more appealing amid currency slide
London more appealing amid currency slide
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled a £40m fund to help boost British tourism and encourage UK holidaymakers to opt for 'staycations'.

Ms May, who is just recently back from a walking holiday in Switzerland with her husband, said the Brexit vote on June 23 creates "real opportunities for growth" for the country as she pledged to make Britain "more attractive, accessible and welcoming to visitors".

The weakened sterling has already done that, making destinations like London and Edinburgh more appealing because of the currency's drop in value since the EU referendum vote.

It comes as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in Britain said there is very little anecdotal evidence at present to suggest the economy was effected in the run-up to the poll. It published a second estimate of GDP for the second quarter, stating it grew by 0.6pc between quarters, and 2.2pc over the year.

Data out this week also suggested consumers had shrugged off the fallout from the poll, with retailers reporting their strongest sales in six months, boosted again by the weaker pound.

While the currency's devaluation is hitting Irish exporters, it has helped buffet the British economy in the wake of the vote, leading some to speculate that the feared recession in the UK later this year may not now materialise.

But economists have cautioned that the positive data may not last.

A weaker pound may ultimately lead to higher inflation, which could dent the consumer recovery.

Irish Independent

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