VisitBritain Generates Record Breaking Visitor Spend

Open Jaw

International visitors have spent an extra £2.5 billion in Britain during the past 4 years, beating the target set by the U.K. government in 2011 by more than £.5 billion.


National tourism agency VisitBritain says the strong results are attributable in large part to its efforts in promoting the destination. It says that every £1 invested in VisitBritain’s activities has resulted in an overseas visitor spend of £21 in Britain.


Overall inbound tourism, Britain’s 3rd largest service export and one of its fastest growing, was worth more than £26 billion to the U.K. economy in 2013.


“We have contributed to another record year for inbound tourism numbers and spend. Inbound tourism is clearly a key economic driver, creating growth and jobs right across Britain,” says VisitBritain Chair Christopher Rodrigues. “We will continue to deliver award-winning campaigns, build partnerships to extend our impact, make it easy for people to get here by building air route connectivity and supporting the development of a bookable, integrated transport system which is easy for the international customer to understand and use.”


Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch says the group’s efforts are recognized. "VisitBritain has done fantastic work to promote U.K. tourism to overseas visitors. There are a multitude of wonderful cultural and heritage sites on offer throughout the U.K. which I'm delighted that overseas visitors are enjoying. However, there is always more to do and this Government is committed to supporting the tourism industry, and through the 5 Point Plan for tourism, we will ensure these economic benefits are spread throughout the country."  


While London continues to appeal to visitors from all around the world, recent numbers show that international tourism growth is now faster in the nations and regions. In 2014 visits to Wales were up 7% on 2013 (from 869k to 932k); Scotland 12% (from 2.4m to 2.7m); England 5% (13.5m to 14.2m - excluding London) and London 4% (17.4m to 18.8m).


Announcing the figures at its annual review launch today, VisitBritain also re-iterated its ambition for international visits to Britain to grow by more than 20% during the next 5 years to 42 million by 2020. This could see an additional £4.5 billion in visitor spend.


The 1st 7 months of 2015 are on track towards this target, breaking all previous records for inbound tourism numbers, with more than 20 million visits to Britain from January to July - a 3% increase compared to the same period last year.


The North American market continues to show recoverywith an increase of 15% during June compared to the previous year, with the number of visits 4% higher in the 1st 6 months of 2015, compared to the start of 2014.

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