When the UK voted to leave the European Union the value of the Sterling dropped sharply. Travel agents feared that this would equate in a dramatic drop in people wanting go abroad, and particularly to EU countries. However, it seems that, in the direct aftermath of Brexit, people continued to go on holiday, and particularly to Spain.
Although there has been a fear that due to the Brexit-inflicted fall in the value of the Sterling would prevent people from going on holiday, this summer still saw a record number of British people still visiting Spain. That said, two issues were identified by UK online travel agency Sunshine, which were relating to pre-bookings, and to fear of terror attacks.
British Citizens Continue To Visit Spain
This was uncovered in a recent survey by UK online travel agency, Sunshine, who found that a record number of British tourists went to Spain this summer. However, two reasons were noted for this:
- Many people had already booked and paid for their summer holiday before the Brexit referendum.
- People chose Spain over France because they were worried about further terrorist attacks in the once highly popular resorts.
Sunshine gathered statistics for the month of September, which showed that Spain’s tourism industry continued to boom. In fact, much of this boom came as a direct result of British people visiting the country. In fact, Sunshine was able to gather a wealth of interesting statistics, including:
- That tourism to Spain in September 2016 was 10.2% higher than tourism in August.
- The Spain’s tourism industry is set to break its own records in terms of yearly visitors.
- That some 60.3 million tourists visited Spain in 2016.
- That 25% of all tourists in Spain came from the United Kingdom, equating to 15 million individuals.
- That there has been a 12.8% rise in the number of British people visiting Spain in September 2016 compared to the past year.
Through these statistics, Sunshine was able to determine the three highest groups of visitors to Spain, which were:
- The United Kingdom
Authorities in the tourism industry believe that Spain will continue to be a popular destination. By the end of 2016, some 74 million people are likely to have visited the country in that year alone. In 2015, this amount of 68 million, which shows just how big of a rise there has been.
One of the interesting things that Sunshine was also able to determine was that one of the reasons why Spain is now such a popular tourist destination is because people are afraid of tourism. Indeed, countries in North Africa like Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco have seen a sharp decline in tourists, as have both Turkey and France.
Interestingly, however, Spain itself continues to be listed as a “high risk” country for terrorism attacks. Spain is at risk of both international and domestic terrorism, with domestic terrorism chances being particularly high. Yet, with the current focus on fundamental Muslim jihadists, most people look for places that have not been targeted yet, and don’t seem to be of particular interest to this particular group of people.
A representative from Sunshine said about the study: “People seem to forget that Spain could also be targeted by terrorism, particularly since they have not yet been hit by ISIS insurgents. Furthermore, tensions with the ETA group have been rising again as well, and they have been known to stage terrorist attacks as well. However, they usually do not target tourists, which is perhaps one of the reasons why people have a relative feeling of safety.”