On Monday (17 May) the situation of the pound sterling took yet another turn for the worse on foreign exchange markets when it dropped over one and a half cents against the U.
On Monday (17 May) the situation of the pound sterling took yet another turn for the worse on foreign exchange markets when it dropped over one and a half cents against the U.S. dollar.
When business was over for the day the pound stood at 1.7997 dollars -- which may have been bad news for the British government -- but for overseas tourists flocking to Britain in ever-increasing numbers it means that they will be getting even better value for their money when changing it into sterling.
The falling value of the pound is making Britain an attractive proposition to foreign visitors and tourism is booming in the United Kingdom at a time when other European countries are seeing their traffic decline.
The British Tourist Authority estimates that 8,800,000 overseas visitors spent GBP 1,100 million sterling (1,980 million U.S. dollars) within the United Kingdom in 1975. They also spent an estimated GBP 300 million (540 million U.S. dollars) on fares paid to British air and shipping lines. The BTA says that this represents an increase of 30 per cent over 1974.
Looking to the future, the BTA estimates that 9,600,000 overseas visitors will come to Britain in 1976. Their internal spending is expected to amount to GBP 1,400 million (2,520 million U.S. dollars). This means that tourism is one of the fastest-growing earners of foreign currency for Britain.
Despite a fall-off in tourism from the United States, traffic from European countries has increased at above-average rates and it is expected that over 5,000,000 visitors from Europe will spend their holidays in Britain this year.
Apart from value for money, visitors to Britain are now finding that their needs are being catered for with increasing sophistication. The government has been investing heavily in regional tourist administration boards since the 1960's. Overall amenities -- and food -- have improved considerably.
Paradoxically, travel experts say that historic, scenic Britain's notoriously unpredictable weather gives it a big advantage over other countries. They say that British centres can survive all the year round as no-one visits the United Kingdom for the climate. "The crow jewels sparkle just as brightly in December as they do in August" one British travel promoter said.
SYNOPSIS: Visitors are also attracted by London's shopping facilities -- where even despite inflation many items are still cheaper than their equivalents in other European countries. Over 5,000,000 visitors from Europe are expected to arrive in Britain for their holidays during 1976 and apart from value for money they will find that their needs are being catered for with increasing sophistication. The government has been investing heavily in regional tourist boards since the 1960's and amenities have been considerably improved.