UK tourism is celebrating after more overseas visitors travelled there last year than ever before.
In 2016 there were a record 37.3 million inbound visits to the UK, up 3% on 2015. Visitors spent $36.4 billion, matching 2015’s record spend.
The figures show strong growth in 2016 from North America, Canada and the US - with 4.3 million visits, up 7% on 2015.
Specific overall visitor numbers for 2016 from Canada won’t be available until spring, however, from JAN-SEPT 2016, Canadians spent a record $827 million in the UK, up 24%. Visits jumped 12% to 643,000.
Comparing growth during the last six years shows there were 7.5 million more visits in 2016 than 2010, an increase of 25%.
“We are thrilled that so many Canadians and Americans are visiting the UK again and again - whether they’re visiting friends and relatives, or exploring the culture, heritage, cities and countryside of Britain on their own,” said Paul Gauger, VisitBritain Interim Executive Vice President, The Americas.
The latest flight booking data shows that 2017 is off to a strong start with flight bookings to the UK up 16% for February to April compared to the same period last year.