Britain voting to leave the European Union has already had its advantages.
The value of the pound has tumbled, making us a far cheaper holiday destination for anyone with foreign currency to spend. All sorts of people suddenly wanted to visit our cities, lakes and forests.
Visit England has no official figures for the surge in tourist inquiries, but they are expected to be well up.
‘Visit Cumbria saw more than 2,000 hits than usual on its website in the days after the referendum,’ says Charlotte Saunders, of Visit England.
Eurotunnel’s spokesman John O’Keefe says: ‘We see a big increase in the number of travellers from Europe when the value of the pound falls.’
These extra tourists all need somewhere to stay. The rise of websites such as Airbnb makes renting anything from a room for the night to a fortnight in a luxurious Devon barn much easier — and homeowners are cashing in.
Joe Dalton, who has been letting a spare room in his Birmingham flat since his long-term lodger moved out last December, says: ‘I can make the same money letting the room for ten days as I made in a whole month from my lodger, so I get the flat to myself a lot more.’
The Airbnb website also includes reviews from guests and their hosts. These are crucial, says Tessa Cunningham, who converted the lower ground floor of her fourstorey Victorian house in Winchester into a sumptuous onebedroom flat last summer.
‘The better your reviews, the more popular you will be and, therefore, the more you can charge,’ says Tessa, who spent £30,000 on the conversion and now charges from £50 to £100 a night.’ Tessa welcomes guests with dogs. ‘Flexibility is very important if you want your property to pay its way,’ she says.