Plunging pound a boon for UK tourism


Visiting London just got cheaper
Visiting London just got cheaper

ONLINE queries for European holiday flights to Britain soared after its voters chose to abandon the EU, travel websites reported, offering a glimmer of hope for tourism in the country.

People across Europe apparently rushed to find bargain trips after the June 23 referendum on leaving the European Union, which tipped sterling into a sharp slide against the euro and an even steeper fall against the dollar.

Searches for flights from France to Britain surged 130 per cent from a day earlier on June 24,when the results were announced, according to holiday booking site Kayak, which says it handles some 1.5 billion travel searches a year.

Kayak said the spike in searches for flights to Britain from Europe continued on June 24 and 25,

up 86 per cent from Germany, 102 per cent from Spain and 114 per cent from Finland.

Rival Paris-based holiday booking site liligo. com, which claims four million unique online visitors a month, said web interest in Paris-London flights rose 34 per cent from June 23 to 26.

“It is too early to say for sure but the first trends we have seen and the devaluation of the British currency suggest that interest in the UK as a destination will be maintained in the weeks ahead, especially for European passengers interested in ‘city breaks’ to London to go shopping,” liligo. com said in a statement.

Although four million French people take short holidays in Britain every year, there are 12 million Britons who do the same in France, according to French online travel site Easyvoyage chairman Jean-Pierre Nadir. Brexit risks hurting tourism in areas favoured by British holidaymakers, he said.