Tourists planning to stay longer – and spend more

    Tonbridge Castle 3

    POTENTIAL visitors from abroad are showing increasing interest in what the Garden of England has to offer, according to travel giant Expedia.

    Tourists from the US seem particularly keen on travelling to Kent, with enquiries about paying the county a visit this July and August climbing 35 per cent in the first three months of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

    Canadians are even more enthusiastic, with searches up by 60 per cent, while overall international and domestic travellers rose by just over 10 per cent.

    Expedia’s Director of Market Management for the UK & Ireland, Krishan Kadodwala, said the results revealed ‘encouraging’ signs of growth, and the boost in interest from across the Atlantic presents ‘a tremendous opportunity’.

    “It’s great to see increased interest from the US – a particularly valuable market for hoteliers and regional tourism in general, given they tend to book their trips further in advance, are much less likely to cancel, stay longer and spend more when here,” he said.

    The data shows visitors to Kent want to stay longer, up more than 5 per cent year-on year, with the amount they choose to spend on their rooms rising by nearly 5 per cent.

    The optimistic figures reflect the findings of Visit Kent, which promotes tourism in the county. They had also seen increasing interest from America.

    Operations Director Jackie Westlake said the weak pound has been ‘good news’ for county tourism, including enticing more visitors from Europe.

    “To date, Brexit has not had an adverse effect on tourism in Kent,” she added.