Money biggest concern for holidaymakers travelling to Scotland
When it comes to foreign holidays, everyone wants a great deal on their currency. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend weeks prior to departure monitoring exchange rates and scouring the internet for the bureau de change that’s offering the most bang for your buck.
Over the past few months, the pound has performed well against the Euro and the Dollar, making foreign excursions an appealing option for many holidaymakers. But at the height of the recession, when sterling was on an even keel with the Euro, the UK saw a huge rise in staycations, with people opting to holiday at home rather than journey overseas.
Scotland’s independence referendum has raised monetary questions not only for Scots, but for the tourists who holiday in the country. For decades, Scotland has been one of the UK’s most popular staycation destinations, with Visit Scotland reporting that 12 million domestic trips were made between April 2013 and January 2014. But after the ‘Yes’ campaign was unable to adequately verify what would become of Scotland’s currency should they become independent, what affect has this had on prospective holidaymakers planning to visit the country?
According to a recent YouGov survey commissioned by Sykes Cottages, a change in currency would be of greatest concern for those travelling to Scotland. Of the 2,182 respondents from England and Wales who took part in the survey, nearly a third (31%) stated that a shift away from pound sterling would make them apprehensive about travelling to Scotland.
Although not a majority, this figure raises questions about the effect that independence will have on Scotland’s tourism industry. When travelling overseas, buying foreign currency is part and parcel, but if you’re looking for a relaxing, stress-free weekend break on what was once home soil, a trip to the bureau de change may seem like more hassle than its worth.
Of the respondents who took part in the poll, young adults between the ages of 18-24 were found to be the most concerned about holidaying in Scotland, with 63% stating they would have travel concerns. Of this percentage, nearly a half (43%) agreed that if the currency was to change, this would make them hesitant about holidaying there.
And it’s not just currency raising concerns among travellers. Respondents also said that price inflation would be a potential travel concern, with 1 in 4 (25%) stating that an increase in the cost of goods and services in Scotland would make them uncertain about travelling there.
Although the effects of the independence referendum are time dependent, and no one yet knows the future of Scotland’s financial landscape, it’s clear that holidaymakers from England and Wales already have trepidations about travelling to the country. Whether its currency, price inflation or political disagreements between members of the public, Scotland’s tourism industry looks set to change in a profound way. Let’s just hope that monetary and political issues can be set aside, and holidaymakers can still feel comfortable travelling to this beautiful and unique country.