On Monday 22 May 2017, there was a terrorist attack at a concert at the Manchester Arena that has left 22 people dead and 59 wounded including women and children, after a suicide bomber caused an explosion.
Echoes of Paris
The fatal attack on concert-goes bears a chilling resemblance to the November 2015 terror attacks that included a massacre at a concert at the Bataclan as part of a coordinated series of attacks across Paris in which 130 people died. France subsequently went into a state of emergency, which it is still under.
The impact of the Bataclan on inbound tourism to France led to a decline in total arrivals to the country from 84.5 million to 79.7 million, down by 6% with key source markets like the UK, Germany and Brussels all showing declines over 5% to 8%.
Potential impact on UK inbound tourism
Manchester is the UK’s third most popular city for inbound tourism demand from international visitors, recording strong growth in 2016 of 4% to reach 1,200 thousand visitors.
The forecast was UK inbound tourism is strong following the Brexit vote, which has led to a depreciation of pound sterling, with Euromonitor’s baseline growth forecast at 5.1% for 2017 and 2.8% in 2018.
The terror attack of May 22 in Manchester is expected to have a minimal negative effect on inbound demand, with Euromonitor’s Travel Forecast Model showing that arrivals to the UK could be 0.3% less in 2017 and 0.1% less in 2018 than the baseline forecast. This would lead to growth of 4.9% to arrivals of 36.7 million, compared to the original forecast of 36.8 million for 2017.
The response from the government will be critical to reassure UK residents and foreign visitors to help assuage public concerns about safety and security. Sadly, terrorism is a threat that all destinations and countries face.
Arrivals to the UK Baseline Forecast 2016-2020
Euromonitor International sends its heart-felt condolences to the families affected by the Manchester tragedy.