Tourism surges following Brexit

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Britain saw a boost in tourism in the first quarter of the year, and economists are linking the surge to Brexit and the weakened pound.

“The (data) indicate that the sharply weakened pound is encouraging more visits to the UK from abroad and more spend by visitors,” said Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight. “This is especially true of North America, which ties in with the pound’s fall being most pronounced against the U.S. dollar.”

The newest report from the Office for National Statistics shows 8.1 million people visited Britain in the first quarter of the year, which is a 7 percent increase from this time last year.  As for the number of American tourists, that figure is up 17 percent from last year totaling 760,000 U.S. visitors.

Following the vote to leave the European Union in June, the pound lost significant value, making Britain an ideal time for tourists – especially from the U.S. – to take advantage of low prices. According to the report, at the end of the first quarter the pound was still down 17 percent against the American currency.

While the number of Americans visiting Britain has increased, the report said the number of Britons flying overseas to North America decreased by 3 percent.

According to Reuters, Britain’s decision to leave the EU has resulted in inflation with a boost to exports and tourism.

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