UK Travel Demand to the US Down As a Result of Brexit

Initial Impact of Leave Decision Shows UK Travel Demand to the US Down 17.9% in June


The world took a collective gasp on June 23 when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. And with a new Prime Minister being named this week, changes in the UK are being watched carefully. Initial impacts of the UK's Brexit decision are already been felt in the travel industry with demand for summer travel from the UK to the US down 17.9%.
Initial data was compiled by nSight for European travelers actively shopping online during June for July, August, or September stays in the US.

Graph - Changes in UK travel searches

Brexit is proving to influence not only travel behavior from the UK, but also other major European source markets for the US including France and Germany. 

Highlights of the initial Brexit impact:

  • For UK demand into the US, growth trends leading up to the Brexit decision are strong peaking at +22.7% YOY at five weeks prior to the decision. 
  • In the weeks prior to the vote, UK demand begins to fall. Travelers in the UK were preoccupied with Brexit as opposed to planning trips to the US, culminating in significant weekly drops in demand (except for the week prior to the decision when demand remained relatively flat YOY at +3.4%).
  • While overall demand for the US from the UK was down 17.9% for June, the last two weeks of the month showed the greatest declines. Demand was -23.3% for the week of June 20 and decline for the week of June 27 doubled to -53.0%.
  • For Europe Demand (excluding the UK): 
    • Over the last 60 days, demand has been down approximately 20% YOY for most weeks.
    • During the Brexit decision weeks, demand to the US recovered slightly to -6% YOY, indicating that while UK demand was declining, EU demand to the US was growing.
    • France demand to the US for the summer is down with the biggest drop in July (-13.2%) and August and September down less than 5%. 
    • Germany demand increased for July (+10.8%) and then dropped moderately YOY for August (-7.5%) and September (-8.5%).

This analysis is a preliminary view of the influence of Brexit on US visitation. nSight will continue to monitor the trends, providing regular updates on consumer behavior and the potential impact on US tourism.

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