UK travel demand drops 13% in 12 months

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thomas Cook Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser says UK travel demand has dropped by 13% The travel market to the UK has dropped in the last year, as people…

UK travel demand drops 13% in 12 months

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thomas Cook Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser says UK travel demand has dropped by 13%

The travel market to the UK has dropped in the last year, as people ditch a country where confidence is low, says Thomas Cook.

UK demand for holidays abroad fell 13% from a year ago in the 12 months to 30 June, it said in a trading update.

There were also falls in demand for short-term holidays in the Spanish city of Majorca and Tunisia.

This could hit the British pound, given that European tourists are the mainstay of UK tourism.

Outside the 16 key markets, where Thomas Cook operates 90% of its business, sales rose 7% on the same period a year ago, “largely driven by demand in non-UK markets”.

More broadly, European demand continues to be steady, in spite of concerns over the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Tourism in Britain has been hit by rising inflation, a weak economy and rising political uncertainty.

Competition from Spain is particularly fierce as it is easier for Britons to visit if travelling via rail or air than by boat or plane.

Thomas Cook said that “cultural, currency and political barriers to travel and the Brexit process” are partly to blame.

In June, however, company performance in the period rose 1.8% , although this was partly due to higher sales in July.

“There is undoubtedly caution in the market,” said chief executive Peter Fankhauser.

“Brexit and election uncertainty will remain, but we are resilient and positive about our future prospects.

“It is important to remain focused on the long-term and I am confident that the third quarter will see continued progress towards our target of £1.2bn in underlying profit in 2017/18.”

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