Portfolio

Tourism stocks surge on strong UK travel data

By Oliver Haill

Date: Friday 16 Jun 2017

Tourism stocks surge on strong UK travel data

(ShareCast News) - UK tourism continues to boom thanks to the weak pound, enticing more visitors from around the world to the UK and strongly boosting spending.
Some 3.7m people visited Britain from overseas in April, up 19% year on year, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday, with overseas residents making 42% more visits to the UK for holidays.

Spending on visits to the UK rose 20% to a seasonally adjusted £2.2bn, though visitor numbers and spending were both boosted by Easter falling in April this year and March last year.

Over the three months to April, the number of visits to the UK increased by 11% from 8.1m to 8.9m compared to the three months to April 2016, which was led by a 19% increase in visitors from North America and a 7% increase from EU countries.

Over the three months to April, it was up 14% year-on-year at £6.2bn.

In contrast, trips by British residents abroad in the month increased by just 2% to 6.1m, with holiday visits up 4.6% to 3.69m and spending overseas down 1% to £3.5bn. Visits abroad were up just 1% year -on-year in the three months to April at 14.9m.

European tourists were a big boon to the UK economy in the month, with an increase of 17.2% to 2.9m from 2.5m.

North American tourists numbers swelled 13% to 320,000 from 282,000.

While April data was boosted by the later Easter, there is "a clear underlying increase in foreign visits to the UK", said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club.

Against this data vista, travel and tourism stocks were on the rise on Friday, with Thomson travel owner TUI up 2.2%, EasyJet up 1.7%, InterContinental Hotels up 1.5%, Wizz Air up 1.5%, Premier Inn owner Whitbread up 0.3%, Ryanair up 0.3%, and British Airways owner IAG up 0.3%.

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