Cyprus, Las Vegas & Spain: the Effects of not Having British Tourists
I’ve had some e-mails lately from friends abroad asking me whether it is as bad in Britain as their local media tells them. My answer is to say that it’s not great and there is nervousness but it is nowhere as bad as in some places.
Take Las Vegas for example. It relies heavily in tourists and consequently they have been hit badly as people save their money in case they need it for some time in the future. Revenue from the casinos is down by slightly over a quarter and the price of hotel rooms has dropped by 14%. When I was there last November, 4 star hotels were costing me about $40 (say £30 a night) which I thought very reasonable. The owners were hoping I’d lose money at the tables. So they are suffering far worse than us.
Look at Spain. Brits make up 28% of all arrivals. 16 million of us go there a year but not now the pound is lower. 22% fewer of us are visiting and in a country where 10% of all Spain’s revenue comes from tourism,
this is having a big impact. Even the Spanish are not holidaying in their own country as much as they did so.
Finally, Cyprus, a favourite place for British tourists in the past but now tourist officials are concerned. They fear that Cyprus is seen as an expensive destination and that people will go to less expensive places this year. In 2008, 1.2 million Brits went to Cyprus. Russia sent the next highest number of tourists, just 180,000 so if we stay away, Cyprus will feel the the difference. And will we go? Well probably if the prices come down. Cyprus has a lot to offer the tourist but price at the moment is the main reason the majority of Brits are doing anything. That is why cheaper destinations like Egypt, Croatia, Tunisia, Turkey, Thailand and Bulgaria are doing quite well.
So we are having quite an impact on some countries. And as wait till the last minute to book, you can bet that Spain and Cyprus and some other countries will be advertising to encourage us to desert our shores and soak up the sun there instead