Does Brexit mean disaster for London tourism?

While the feeling of ‘Bregret’ seems for us and many inevitable, now is the time for coming together to encourage constructive conversation and decisions for the reality of a Britain outside of the EU. Here at The Air Agents we strongly believe that London will remain a travel hub that attracts people from far and wide for the richness of its culture as well as the global connections and business opportunities it offers.

We believe that the 60% of Londoners who voted to remain speaks to the cosmopolitanism, diversity and multiculturalism that not only makes London a wonderful and unique city but is indeed celebrated by the vast majority who call it home. Tourism is a huge contributor to the UK economy raising £22 billion in 2015. And with half of that figure being spent in London, tourism makes a crucial contribution to the growth of smaller and emerging businesses here. This boost to our local business is further enhanced by the increasing number of people opting for short-stay accommodation in one of the properties we manage across the city’s 32 boroughs. 

An incredible 18.6 million people visited London last year - a figure up by 23% since 2009 - and according to figures released by Visit Britain, 72% of those visits are for between 1 and 7 nights. Indeed short-stay accommodation has made the capital more accessible and attractive to many people here on city breaks, family holidays and business trips - whether in terms of a more local, personal or more cost-effective experience. And while the weakening of the Sterling will unfortunately have a negative affect on some UK businesses (particularly those importing from EU countries) it will strengthen the purchasing power of tourists travelling to London, especially in the near future while the currency stabilises.

The government has rightly viewed the increase in short-lets as a positive for our communities and local businesses and in light of Brexit we urge them to continue to support these ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ who need the governments pro-business, pro-sharing economy stance to continue, now more than ever.

As the dust begins to settle and we experience the inevitable ups and downs in the months ahead, we will continue to fulfil our role both in encouraging the entrepreneurship of the property hosts we represent and their contribution to the sharing economy. And just as importantly continue to extend a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world who come to explore, experience and enjoy this great city we call home.