Britain sees biggest fall in foreign visitors since 2009

Foreign visitors to the UK in the three months to June dropped by 7.7 percent compared with a year earlier to 10.038 million. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Britain sees biggest fall in foreign visitors since 2009

  • Foreign visitor numbers in the three months to June dropped by 7.7 percent compared with a year earlier to 10.038 million
  • The Office for National Statistics offered no reasons for the declining numbers

LONDON: The number of foreigners visiting Britain for tourism or work fell by the most in nearly a decade during the three months to June, showing the country could not sustain the record numbers achieved a year earlier in the wake of 2016’s Brexit vote.
The pound’s fall after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 made the country a cheaper holiday destination, boosting visitor numbers in the second and third quarters of 2017 — peak holiday season — to record highs.
However, Thursday’s data from the Office for National Statistics show Britain has been unable to sustain these gains, with the segment of highly price-sensitive visitors possibly having been exhausted.
Foreign visitor numbers in the three months to June dropped by 7.7 percent compared with a year earlier to 10.038 million, the largest percentage drop since the depths of the global financial crisis in early 2009.
The number of North American visitors fell by 10 percent, European visitors dropped by 8 percent and there was a 6 percent fall in visitors from elsewhere.
Tourism, the most common reason for a visit, was down by 8 percent, business trips fell by 15 percent while visits to see friends and family rose by 6 percent.
Total spending by foreign visitors fell by 10.3 percent compared with a year earlier to £5.839 billion ($7.70 billion).
The ONS offered no reasons for the declining numbers.
The number of Britons traveling abroad barely changed at 19.868 million, and their spending held steady at £11.629 billion. More Britons visited North America at the expense of other non-European destinations.
Last year the United Nations estimated Britain was the world’s seventh-biggest international tourist destination by visitor numbers, slipping one spot in the rankings behind Mexico. The most visited country was France.


Iran falls to sixth biggest oil supplier to India as sanctions bite

Updated 10 min ago
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Iran falls to sixth biggest oil supplier to India as sanctions bite

  • Tehran dropped two places to become only the sixth biggest supplier after New Delhi cut purchases due to the impact of US sanctions
  • The UAE, which was the sixth biggest oil seller to India in October, became the third-top seller to India in November

NEW DELHI: India’s monthly oil imports from Iran plunged to their lowest in a year in November with Tehran dropping two places to become only the sixth biggest supplier after New Delhi cut purchases due to the impact of US sanctions, according to ship tracking data and industry sources.
Last month, the US introduced tough sanctions aimed at crippling Iran’s oil revenue-dependent economy. Washington did, though, give a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight nations, including India, and allowed them to import some Iranian oil.
India is restricted to buying 1.25 million tons per month, or about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).
In November, India imported about 276,000 bpd of Iranian oil, a decline of about 41 percent from October and about 4 percent more than the year-ago month, ship tracking data obtained from shipping and trade sources showed.
After abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump is trying to force Tehran to quash not only its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program but its support for militant proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.
India’s imports from Iran in November, included some parcels that were loaded in October. In November, Iraq and Saudi Arabia continued to be the top-two oil sellers to India.
The UAE, which was the sixth biggest oil seller to India in October, became the third-top seller to India in November, knocking down Venezuela to fourth position.