Travel

Brexit boosts Brit tourism

Weak pound main attraction for international tourists, says survey

The British hotel and leisure industry is set for a bumper year, as the weak post-Brexit pound boosts demand from foreign tourists and deters Britons from travelling abroad, a survey by Barclays showed yesterday.

Nearly two-thirds of international holidaymakers surveyed said they were more interested in holidaying in the UK compared with this time last year, reported Reuters.

The top driver of this was the weaker pound, cited by 31 per cent, while 30 per cent cited greater spending power.

The Barclays report surveyed almost 10,000 guests from the UK, continental Europe, the US, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

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Here are five reasons to make your way there this year.

NEW CURRENCY

It's time to dig up your loose change from your last visit and spend your British round £1 coins and £5 paper notes as they will no longer be legal tender soon. If you want to swap the latter for the new £5 polymer notes featuring Sir Winston Churchill, which was introduced last September, head over to a bank or post office as shops will no longer accept the old ones from May 5.

Similarly, the old £1 coin will be withdrawn on Oct 15, to be replaced by the recently-introduced 12-sided £1 coin.

The good news is there will be a new £10 note released this summer featuring British author Jane Austen.

ROYAL GIFTS EXHIBITION

This year, there will be a special Royal Gifts exhibition at Buckingham Palace, which will tell the story of the Queen's reign through a wide-ranging display of official gifts presented to Her Majesty over the past 65 years from world leaders, such as former US President Ronald Reagan, former South Africa President Nelson Mandela and President Xi Jinping of China.

As the official London residence of the Queen and the royal family and the administrative headquarters of the Monarch, State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will be open to the public from July 22 to Oct 1, when she makes her annual visit to Scotland.

Visitors can view the 19 magnificent State Rooms, many showcasing some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and other great artists.

DIANA: HER FASHION STORY

(Above) A collection of dresses worn by Princess Diana, Gardener Jude Evans inspecting  PHOTOS:REUTERS, AFP

Kensington Palace is celebrating the life and legacy of Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death with a new exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story.

The display will run throughout the year and will showcase the evolution of her style, from the outfits from her first public appearances, to the glamour and elegance of her later life.

(Above) Gardener Jude Evans inspecting a Tulip florosa at the White Garden. PHOTOS:REUTERS, AFP

There will also be newly-planted flowers and foliage inspired by the memories of the Princess' life, image and style in the White Garden to complement the exhibition.

POSTAL MUSEUM

Located in Clerkenwell, the new Postal Museum will boast a family playzone and interactive exhibitions showcasing five centuries of Britain's postal heritage.

Scheduled to open mid-2017, there will also be an immersive subterranean Mail Rail ride, which takes visitors back to the time when London's Post Office railway transported billions of letters, parcels and postcards across the city in the original tunnels deep beneath the streets of London, with the automated trains network stretching from Paddington to Whitechapel.

HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION

Harry Potter fans can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter book series by visiting the British Library for a new Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition, which will run from Oct 20 this year to Feb 28, 2018.

You'll learn about the myths and folklore that underpin the themes and imagery brought to life in the beloved stories revolving around the boy wizard.

The exhibition will also showcase Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's personal archives, drafts and drawings from Bloomsbury Publishing.

tnp@sph.com.sg

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