Business Confidence

VisitEngland Business Confidence Monitor

Around four or five times a year VisitEngland conduct a telephone survey among 500 accommodation establishments and 300 visitor attractions. The purpose of the study is to assess recent business performance and confidence about the forthcoming period. The most recent survey saw fieldwork taking place in early January 2018.

    Business Confidence

    The key findings were:

    • In 2017, accommodation sites reported a net increase in visitors both domestic and overseas, with the growth from the latter group at its highest level for three years (39% of accommodation sites reporting more visitors – level with January 2015). This growth from the overseas market has been primarily driven by the strong performance of hotels, which saw the strongest net growth
    • Across 2017 as a whole, 50% of accommodation sites reported an increase in visitor numbers vs. the year before. However, visitor growth in the Christmas and New Year period did not reach the same levels, with this figure falling to 4 in 10 (39%). This comparatively lower growth can be apportioned to the slower performance of self-catering and guesthouses/B&Bs over the festive period
    • Looking ahead to the end of the Easter period, a third of accommodation sites judged their advance booking levels as ‘good’, with a further 18% describing levels as ‘very good’
    • Looking at 2018 as a whole, many sites appear to be cautious - with half (51%) expecting their business performance to remain the same as 2017, a record-high. However, 44% of sites do still remain optimistic of an improved year ahead
    • Across 2017 overall, visitor attractions experienced record levels of growth, with sites experiencing an high overall net growth from overseas visitors, primarily driven by visits to indoor sites. Just 6% and 7% of sites saw a drop in visitation from domestic and overseas visitors respectively
    • This is echoed by the overall business performance of attractions in 2017, where 65% reported an increase in visitors vs. 2016. Comparatively, the festive period in isolation was not quite as successful with attractions reporting growth 14% lower at 51%. Indoor and mixed sites the only attraction types to maintain similar levels of performance
    • Looking ahead until the end of Easter, confidence levels are fairly consistent (with just 6% separating all types of attraction). However, outdoor attractions emerged as the most bullish of a successful period, with 4 in 10 stating they were ‘very confident’ in the upcoming period
    • Business optimism for 2018 as a whole is very similar to the figures seen at the start of 2017, with 57% of sites predicting that performance will outstrip the previous year, and almost 4 in 10 (38%) expecting it to remain consistent