Belfast Telegraph

Slump in value of pound draws visitors to the UK

By Neil Lancefield, PA

The UK is one of the world's best value destinations for 2018 because of the slump in the value of the pound, according to a leading travel guide.

Lonely Planet is urging holidaymakers from overseas to "reap the rewards" of currency exchange rates while the UK Government "busies itself with Brexit".

Sterling is down 14% against the euro and 11% against the dollar compared with before the EU Referendum of June last year.

The latest edition of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel advises readers to "make the exchange rate work even harder" by heading to Devon, Cornwall, Bath, York and Edinburgh.

The travel guide adds: "The most likely scenario is that the UK stays affordable to international visitors - at least until a true picture of the post-Brexit landscape emerges."

It lists the UK as number seven on its table of the best value countries to visit next year.

Estonian capital Tallinn is number one, followed by Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and the US state of Arizona.

From January to July this year there were a record 23.1 million overseas visits to the UK, up 8% on the same period last year, according to tourism body VisitBritain.

Lonely Planet's destination editor for Britain and Ireland, James Smart, said: "While the value of the pound hasn't been great news for British travellers, it has been a great boost for people looking to visit the UK and we expect this to continue next year.

"New galleries and theatres, rehoused historic attractions and thoroughly modern opportunities for adventure combine with classic sights to make the UK a brilliant destination for both staycationers and foreign visitors in 2018."

Meanwhile, Belfast and the coast around Giant's Causeway was ranked the number one region to visit in the world in 2018.

The city is "full of hip neighbourhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all taste", according to Lonely Planet, which adds that the coastline has "timeless beauty" and "high-grade distractions" such as golf, whiskey and famous rocks.

Mr Smart said: "Belfast and the Causeway Coast topped our list of the top 10 regions because it is deservedly now recognised as a must-visit destination by travellers from across the globe.

"Dynamic Belfast has put its troubled past behind it and is a city transformed, its streets packed with buzzing bars and great stories, while the coastline beyond boasts spectacular scenery and plenty of great diversions.

"The region may be famous for Game of Thrones but its many scenic filming locations are just the start."

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