Falling value of pound against euro 'increasing foreign visitors to Yorkshire'

The falling value of the pound against the euro "has turned the tide" of tourism, increasing the number of overseas visitors to Yorkshire's coast, it has been claimed.

Scarborough businessman James Corrigan, who owns Harbourside Apartments, currently has visitors staying from the Far East, but has also had people from Holland, Spain and from China to see "where the famous lobsters come from".

He said: "Because the pound has dropped, it is cheaper to come here. As it has gone up in price for us, it has gone down for them - the tourism tide has turned and is flowing our way."Despite gloomy headlines over the cost of living crisis, president of Scarborough Hospitality Association Shirley Smith, said bookings from UK visitors were much better than normal in January.Over 1,200 businesses attended her annual hospitality, tourism and business expo held in the resort earlier this month.Mrs Smith said: "I've done the expo for 18 years and with people whinging and moaning about prices I though they wouldn't be having holidays."In January I had 52 bookings - whether they come or not is a different matter, but it is more than I normally would have in January. I think it is going to be a good year - people are thinking I'm going to have my holiday - sod everything else."

According to short-term rental analyst AirDNA the average holiday let, which cost £112 a night when booked through Airbnb or Vrbo over the Easter break last year, has now risen to £136 - representing a 21 per cent increase.

The view over Scarborough BeachThe view over Scarborough Beach
The view over Scarborough Beach

It means holidaymakers can expect to pay over £800 for a week-long stay - not including cleaning and service fees - compared to just over £670 last year.

However according to Which? those heading abroad will also see steep price rises, with a package holiday to Spain, Turkey and Italy jumping by 20 per cent or more since last summer.Flights to popular destinations are up by as much as 71 per cent compared with 2022.

Mr Corrigan said: "Typically people take one or two holidays abroad - that will become one and a couple of breaks away. The leisure pound will stay in the UK."Mr Corrigan said the seismic changes to people's behaviour as a result of Covid-19 had seen demand for self-catering accommodation soar.

He said: "People were terrified of going into lifts and communal dining. They were worried about Granny."

There are already hundreds of Airbnbs between Whitby and Bridlington - a trend he believes could increase as an "unintended consequence" of the Government ending no fault evictions.

This means in future landlords will have to go to court to remove tenants. "First the Government encouraged people to buy to let. Now if a tenant won't pay, the owner won't be able to pay their mortgage," he said.