VisitBritain predicts 'strong summer for tourism'

VisitBritain predicts 'strong summer for tourism'

VisitBritain has said it is anticipating a “strong summer” based on the latest numbers released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which has announced record-breaking numbers for inbound tourists.

Revealing its Q1 statistics for January to March, the ONS report said that visits from the US, UAE, Australia, Spain and Germany all grew.

The US was the most significant of these, with the UK’s most valuable foreign market growing 9% to 542,000.

Within the EU, visitor numbers were up overall by 10%, with Germany marking a 24% rise to 602,000 inbound visitors and Spain growing by 12% to 548,000.

Australia and the UAE also marked a 10% increase, with 157,000 visiting the UK’s shores from Australia and 77,000 from the UAE. 

One positive identified as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU was that that weakened pound makes the country a more affordable destination for potential overseas visitors.

Combined with the solid Q1 figures, VisitBritain believes the UK tourism sector could expect a “great summer."

“It’s really encouraging to see strong growth in visits from some of our most important markets and we now have the opportunity to build on this as Britain is offering great value for inbound visitors,” said Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director. 

“We are anticipating a strong summer holiday season as we spread this message of value and continue our global #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ marketing campaign to inspire visitors with the amazing experiences they can only find in Britain and work with partners to offer great tactical deals to drive bookings. It’s a great summer to come to Britain.” 

2015 set a record for inbound tourism to the UK on visits and spend with 36.1 million visits – a 5 per cent increase on 2011 – with spending also up 1 per cent to £22.1bn.