American Marketer

Travel and hospitality

UK tourism not likely to see effects from Manchester Arena attack

May 24, 2017

Manchester Arena is home to U.K. football club Manchester United


The May 22 terror attack at the Manchester Arena is expected to have minimal negative impact on inbound tourism to the United Kingdom, says Euromonitor.

Euromonitor's Travel Forecast Model shows that the U.K. could see 0.3 percent less in-bound arrivals in 2017 and 0.1 percent less for 2018. Original forecasts, predating the May 22 attack that occurred during a pop concert, expected 36.8 million arrivals to the U.K., but now that number is likely to be a lower figure of 36.7 million.

Ripple effect
As of press time, the Manchester Arena suicide bombing has left 22 individuals dead and 59 injured. The victims are primarily women and children who were attending a concert put on by American singer Ariana Grande.

The Manchester event echoes the November 2015 terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris. The Bataclan shootings were part of a larger series of attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.

Paris has been under a state of emergency since Nov. 13, 2015 and has been subject to additional attacks.

Per Euromonitor, inbound tourism to France since 2015 has seen a decline by 6 percent. From 2015 to present, France has seen inbound travel go from 84.5 million to 79.7 million (see story).

Chart: Total Arrivals to United Kingdom, courtesy of Euromonitor

The U.K., Germany and Brussels, all of which have seen attacks occur, also show declines of 5 to 8 percent.

According to forecasts, the U.K.’s inbound tourism numbers were expected to be strong following the Brexit vote due to currency fluctuations. Euromonitor forecasts the U.K.’s baseline growth at 5.1 percent for 2017 and 2.8 percent in 2018.

As for Manchester specifically, the city is the U.K.’s third most popular city for international visitors. In 2016, Manchester saw tourist growth of 4 percent, reaching 1.2 million foreign visitors.