London

The number of flight bookings to the UK has risen sharply after the vote to leave the European Union prompted a plunge in the value of the pound. 

In the 28 days following the referendum, bookings rose 4.3% compared with the same period last year.

Travel researcher ForwardKeys said: “The most favourable exchange rate in decades is probably the major driver for the uptake in bookings to Britain.”

The number of bookings rose Hong Kong grew by 30%, with bookings from the US rising 9% and 5% from Europe.

It comes after the pound saw a 13% drop in value against the US dollar and 10% against the euro after the UK voted to leave the European Union. The weaker sterling makes holidays to the UK cheaper for the rest of the world – both in terms of flight prices and the cost of currency.

While many people have spoken about the negative economic impact of Brexit, two particular areas where the economy is expected to improve are exports and tourism.

But, as with every piece of economic data published since the referendum vote, ForwardKeys warned that it is too early to tell whether or not it will have a sustained impact. There is data elsewhere in the travel and tourism sector that supports these findings. Hotels.com reported a 50% increase in the number of searches made by Americans for hotels in the UK since the referendum. And British Airways said it saw the number of flight searches for the UK by US citizens rise in the few days after the referendum.

However, there had already been an increase in tourism before the referendum. Figures from VisitBritain said the number of visits made to the UK by international visitors was up 6% to 7.36 million in the first three months of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015.