Fewer Brits visit States

There were significantly fewer
United Kingdom visitors to America in 2009 compared to 2008.

A survey by the United States
Department of Commerce, the United Kingdom Travel Trade Barometer, said that
bookings were down on average 10 to 15 per cent. Sixteen per cent of the trade
said bookings were down by 16 to 20 per cent on a direct year-to-year
comparison.

Total arrivals stateside from the UK were 3.9 million,
a 15 per cent decrease on 2008. The fourth quarter saw 993,000 visit the US which is 11
per cent down on the same time in 2008.

Projections

Projections for the first quarter
of 2010 were variable in the survey of tour operators from the UK.
Forty per cent of respondents projected similar bookings compared to January to
March 2009, 30 per cent projected lower and much lower booking levels and 20
per cent said their bookings from Britain to America would be higher in 2010.

Over half the trade (52 per cent)
said that bookings for the second quarter of 2010 would be the same as the
second quarter of 2009. Twenty-six per cent projected lower and much lower
bookings and 16 per cent expected bookings to be higher in 2010.

The survey said that accommodation
cost, the relative performance of the UK pound against the US dollar and
airfare cost would be motivators to travel for the next six months.

Putting people off visiting the US were competition
from other destinations, visa issues and the down state of the British economy.

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