A record of 39.7m tourists are expected to visit the country, with increases in those visiting from America and China. VisitBritain has predicted this will bring £26.6bn to the economy, a 6.6% increase on how much visitors spent in 2019.
The British Beer & Pub Association says:
“The great British pub is central to the tourism offer of the UK.
“Pubs are uniquely British and a key part of our culture, so it is no surprise they are popular with tourists. They’re also the perfect place to try both British beer and food, making them essential for any tourist wanting to get a taste of the UK.”
Data from ForwardKeys, a flight data analysis firm, has shown that forward bookings to the UK from China and south Asia have risen by 33% and 22% respectively.
VisitBritain said pubs were important to the experience of many holiday makers, with more than two out of every five (42%) of all international visits to the UK including at least one visit to a pub.
Going to a pub is the third most popular activity for overseas visitors to the UK after dining in restaurants and shopping, according to the national agency.
Gemma Halliwell, who works on the marketing team at the Culpeper pub in Spitalfields, east London, says tourism is a key focus for her team moving forward.
She said: “We frequently take care of guests from overseas and enjoy helping them navigate the city through our bedroom packs and friendly staff, which provide guests with a range of information about local attractions and surrounding areas.
“Our digital presence, including our website and social media platforms are important tools for us in promoting our offer to overseas visitors.
“With tourism set to growth even further, we hope to capitalise on this as much as possible, further utilising social media to target overseas guests.”
Inbound visitors who went to a pub during their time in the UK spent £11.2bn in total during their trip, according to the 2017 International Passenger Survey.
A Greene King spokesperson said it was important to recognise the role of hospitality and tourism in the country’s economic growth and praised the sector deal for tourism made last year.
They added: “With a range of historic pubs ranging from Nottingham’s Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem to the Sherlock Holmes in Charing Cross, in our experience, iconic pubs are a big draw for tourists and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors in 2020.”
British Institute of Innkeeping chief operating officer Steven Alton said pubs were destinations for tourists, with “something for everyone”.
He added: “Depending on their location, some licensees rely more than others on trade from tourism, but the key message that we hear from our members is how flexibility in their business is vital to their success.
“From opening up letting rooms to revising their menus to cater for lots of different tastes, the ability to adapt and diversify is one of their greatest strengths.”