While the world was taken by surprise by the United Kingdom's vote to formally leave the European Union (known as 'Brexit'), the travel industry feared that political instability and a falling British pound could cause real damage to the UK tourism industry.
The GBP is still in flux, but vacation rental search engine Tripping.com analyzed search data from the first three days post-Brexit (June 26th through the 28th) and compared it to results from the three days a week earlier (June 17th through 19th) to see what sort of effect the Brexit was having on prospective travelers.
While there were modest gains in searches for England (up 4%) and London specifically (5%), there was a significant surge in interest in Scotland and Northern Ireland, both seeing approximately 40% increase in searches for vacation rentals in those destinations onsite.
There are a few possible explanations for this trend: both Scotland and Northern Ireland's majority voted to Remain, which has been reported positively in the media. These possible 'breakaway states' may be seen as more secure destinations than England or Wales. Scotland in particular also received extensive media coverage with presidential hopeful Donald Trump's weekend visit to his golf course in the northeast of the country.
The explanation that is most promising for the travel industry is that the devalued pound, which hit a 30 year low in the aftermath of the Brexit announcement, has led prospective to travelers more seriously consider visiting the British Isles. It is unknown how long the pound will hold this reduced value.
Whatever the reason, the travel industry will be keeping a close eye on UK-wide and nation-specific tourism interest, particularly as the UK begins the process of formally separating from the EU and editing its visa and immigration process.