Destinations

“Stonehenge won’t change”: UK high commissioner says Brexit won’t stop Aussies from visiting

Australian travellers have maintained their longstanding position as one of the top five markets to Great Britain, enjoying a favourable exchange rate ahead of Brexit uncertainty next month.

The visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market accounts for half of the one million Australian visitors annually, delivering £1 billion into its visitor economy.

Australian visitors are also three times more likely to hire a car and venture out of the cities to regional Britain and stay longer than the average overseas visitor, according to VisitBritain’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Maria Skyes.

Speaking last week at a showcase event in Sydney, Skyes said the local VisitBritain office has also recently expanded to meet growing visitor demand, with Australia now boasting the tourism board’s third-largest office globally.

“The recently announced UK tourism sector deal is a game-changer for tourism and will ensure we continue to compete internationally as a top destination for the Australian traveller,” she told event attendees.

Touching on the looming Brexit deadline, UK’s High Commissioner to Australia, Vicky Treadell, wasn’t concerned about its impact on Aussie arrivals.

“It doesn’t change any of the tourist sights. Stonehenge won’t change because of it,” she said.

A focus for the tourism board is to now create “tourism zones”, highlighting key areas with clearly defined reasons to visit and to connect “last stops” with suitable accommodation and culinary options for visitors who choose to travel beyond already established tourist hot spots.

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