Recent items

Latest Tourism Alliance News

Latest Industry News


Plenary Meeting Minutes

Background papers

10 Oct 2017

UK sees record tourist numbers as exchange rate falls

Overseas visits to the UK hit a record 23 million in the first seven months of the year, according to new figures from VisitBritain.

Announced today (10 October) as part of VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s 2016-17 annual review, results show strong growth in the past year for inbound tourism, with a record 23.1 million overseas visits between January and July – an increase of eight per cent, with visitor spend increasing by nine per cent to £13.3bn.

Predictions for the full year see inbound visits increase six per cent to 39.7 million, with visitor spending rising by 14 per cent to £25.7bn.

The latest findings also show that for every pound invested in VisitBritain, 20 more are generated for the economy – accounting for £872m in visitor spending in 2017.

The predicted trend of increased staycations following the Brexit vote is also ringing true, with domestic overnight holidays rising by seven per cent to a record 20.4 million visitors for the first half of the year, and spend up by 17 per cent to £4.6bn.

According to Steve Ridgeway, VisitBritain chair and the man leading the tourism industry’s bid for a sector deal under the government’s Industrial Strategy, results have been helped by the 16 per cent fall in the exchange rate, which has made Britain a more attractive proposition. However, this has also impacted overseas marketing budgets for VisitBritain.

“Tourism is an economic powerhouse, worth £127bn annually to the economy and a job creator right across Britain,” he said.

“Tourism is two-and-a-half times bigger than the automotive industry, employing three million. It is one of our most successful exports and needs no trade deals to compete globally.

“This is a fiercely competitive global industry and you cannot just build a strong, resilient industry on a weaker currency. We must continue to invest in developing world-class tourism products, getting Britain on the wishlist of international and domestic travelers. And we must make it easy for visitors to make that trip.”

<< Back to previous page

News powered by