According to a report of the Regional Tourism Committee (RTC) of
Brittany tourism, the amount of British visitors decreased and represents 29% of foreign tourists. The tourism stakeholders blame Brexit as well as the decline in the attractiveness of France.
Since the referendum which endorsed the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the pound has lost nearly 15% of its value against the euro. Frédéric Bessonneaud, director of the tourist complex of the Domain of Elms (Ille-et-Vilaine), which has 85% of British customers, confirmed the decreasing trend: “We have recorded a decline in consumption in August on the benefits of recreation.”
"The decline of the British clientele is perhaps more marked this year," says Bruno Kerdal, chairman of the Umih Morbihan, the main trade union of hotels and restaurants. A loss particularly damaging for the Brittany tourism because the British are the customers with the longest stays and biggest expenditures.
Is there a disenchantment with France? Brittany Ferries, whose customer base is 85% British, has seen a 5% drop in cross-channel passenger traffic over the year. "There is the Brexit effect, but we can also see the loss of attractiveness of the destination France," said Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, who expects the negative impact of Brexit on their revenues.
In this gloomy context, the July opening of a Lorient-London airline appears as a positive signal. "It may allow the British to continue to enjoy themselves for shorter periods despite their lower purchasing power," says Bruno Kerdal.