Record £2.8bn inbound spending in August

Record £2.8bn inbound spending in August

Foreign tourists flocking to Britain spent a record £2.8 billion in August.

The figure represented a 3% rise on the same month last year and came as the number of inbound travellers rose by 5% year-on-year to 3.9 million.

Particularly strong growth was recorded from EU countries, the UK’s largest visit-generating region, with 2.4 million visits, up 6%.

Today’s figures, from the Office for National Statistics, bring the total number of overseas visits to the UK from January to August to 27.1 million, up 8% on 2016.

Spending by visitors during the eight month period reached a record £16.4 billion, up 10% on last year.

VisitBritain forecasts that inbound visits to the UK will reach 39.7 million by the end of the year, with overseas visitors spending £25.7 billion.

Tourism minister John Glen said: “Tourism is an economic force that creates jobs and drives growth up and down the country.

“These record-breaking figures for August reaffirm the UK’s position as a global go-to destination and show the continued strength of the sector.”

VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “Tourism is one of Britain’s most valuable export industries and it is encouraging that this strong growth has continued during the summer.

“With Britain continuing to offer good value and with great deals in market, we are confident of a strong festive season and beyond as we showcase why our nations and regions should top people’s list as the must-go-now destination.”

The latest market specific figures, for the first six months of 2017, showed strong growth from China, the world’s most valuable outbound market.

There were 115,000 visits from China to the UK between January and June, up 47% on last year. Visitors from China spent a record £231 million during the period, up 54%.

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