Thursday, 22 February 2018

UK tourism hits record

UK-tourism

LONDON: The number of overseas visitors to the UK topped four million in July for the first time, official figures show.

Travellers to the UK spent £2.75bn on their visits, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, another record.

The figures also show the number of visits abroad by UK residents fell 2% from July last year to 6.9 million, with spending also down 2% to £4.5bn.

The weakening of the pound since the Brexit vote has made prices in the UK cheaper for travellers from abroad.

However, Patricia Yates, from tourist promotion agency VisitBritain, said the pound was a only small part of the story: “We know the weak pound helps, but it is not the motivator for first time visitors – most people overseas do not know what the exchange rate is.”

UK tourism

So far this year, the number of overseas visits to the UK are up 8% on the same period last year, with spending running at £13.3bn.

The ONS says tourism is worth £127bn annually to the UK economy.

Here is a breakdown of where tourists to the UK come from:

  • Europe – 15.1 million, up 4% on last year
  • North America – 2.9 million, up 21% on last year
  • Rest of World, up 18% on last year

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