The just published Sojern’s Destination Report: A Focus on the United Kingdom and France, reveals that there has been some slippage in intent-to-travel to the United States by residents of the UK and France, but it should not last. While the major points of the report have to do with the popularity of the two countries as destinations, it contains several points of interest for those whose focus on the two as markets—not destinations.
The USA has fallen out of favor with French travelers this summer, dropping from second to fourth, says Sojern. British travelers follow a similar trend, with most American destinations slightly down compared to last year. This, the report suggests, “could be a knock-on effect of the strength of the U.S. dollar, meaning that it is more expensive to visit the U.S.”
Weakened since the June 23, 2016 referendum in which Britain voted to leave the European Union, the British pound has stabilized in the last few months, about 15 percent less valuable against the U.S. dollar than it was at its pre-referendum peak. Sojern notes that, according to BMO Capital Markets (it is the investment banking subsidiary of Canadian Bank of Montreal), although the pound to dollar has dropped due to the general strength of the dollar and also a rocky start to the UK/EU negotiations for an agreement on the UK’s exit from the European Union, a rebound is expected. This fluctuation could potentially be playing a role in the slight decline in UK to U.S. travel intent
For travelers who book travel to France or the UK, Sojern looked at what other destinations they considered for similar departure days. The other destinations considered depend highly on the traveler’s place of origin:
- The United States is the most popular alternative destination for North American travelers
- Singapore and Australia are strong alternative destinations for travelers from APAC
- Across regions, those who end up booking travel to France or the UK actually search multiple destinations within those countries. For example, people may book Paris, but search Marseille or Nice as well.
Alternative Destinations by Origin Region:
Surprise! Americans like to visit the UK and France: Travelers from the U.S. comprise the top non-European source market for both countries.