UK tourism customer satisfaction rises ahead of Brexit

28th Mar 2017

As the UK’s tourism industry readies itself for Brexit, data released today by The Institute of Customer Service suggests that customer satisfaction with the sector continues to rise.

The latest figures from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) – published to coincide with English Tourism Week – found that the sector is the UK’s third highest ranking sector when it comes to customer satisfaction, scoring 80.2 in a 100-point Index.

It generates fewer problems for customers than any other sector in the UK.  Just 9% of customers had a problem in the three months to January 2017, compared with a national average of 13.1%

Feedback from customers suggest that the ‘helpfulness of staff’ is one of the key areas to see an improvement over the past 12 months, but ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘handling enquiries’ are two areas which have seen no improvement over the same period of time.

English Tourism Week is an annual event run by Visit Britain, focusing on a sector worth £106bn a year that supports 2.6m jobs.

 Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, says: “As we begin negotiations to create a post-Brexit economy, the way UK tourism responds to the challenges it faces could determine whether we will maintain our position as a popular destination in the future.  At the same time, the industry must also ensure it provides a seamless experience for domestic tourists because, with the pressure on the Pound increasing, we are likely to see greater interest in staycations.”

The UKCSI goes on to reveal that the proportion of customers who found that ‘everything was right, first time’ when they got in touch with an organisation has increased by 3% in the past 12 months, to 80.1%.  As a result, 8.2 out of 10 are likely to repurchase.

When things did go wrong, employees in the tourism sector were also rated as more likely to ‘tell you what would happen next’ or ‘show sympathy’ than across other industry sectors, leading to 77% of customers suggesting that their satisfaction was maintained.

Causon concludes: “For organisations across the tourism sector – and those related to it - the importance of understanding the preferences and drivers of different customer groups cannot be overstated.  As we come to terms with the uncertain economic climate that Brexit negotiations may bring, how organisations respond to their customers and build sustainable relationships with them will be key to long-term business performance.”


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