Foreign trips flat but spending down, reveals ONS

Foreign trips flat but spending down, reveals ONS

The number of foreign trips by Britons in 2011 was pegged at the same level as the previous year but spending on travel over the 12 months fell by 3% to £30.9 billion.

The total number of visits abroad by UK residents, not seasonally adjusted, remained “broadly the same” during the 12 months to November 2011 at 55.7 million, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Visits to Europe rose by 1% to 43.3 million and to North America also by 1% to 3.6 million. But travel to other parts of the world dropped by 6% to 8.8 million.

Holiday travel was down by 1% to 36.2 million with business travel down the same percentage to 6.7 million. Visits to friends or relatives increased 4% to 11.3 million while travel abroad for other reasons was down by 12% to 1.5 million.

Total foreign travel in the three months to November was down by 1% to 13.8 million with spending remaining broadly the same at £7.8 billion over the previous peak summer quarter. Numbers were also down by 1% against the same autumn quarter in 2010.

Overall spending by overseas visitors to the UK in the three months to November 2011 was down by 4%, seasonally adjusted, to £4.5 billion over the previous three months. This came on the back of a 1% drop in quarterly inbound arrivals to the UK to 7.7 million.

Total visitor arrivals in the 12 months to last November rose by 2% from 29.9 million to 30.6 million, helped by a 6% rise in trips from North America to 3.6 million and from other parts of the world excluding Europe by 10% to 4.8 million. Visits from European were static at 22.2 million.

The proportion of holiday trips to the UK rose by 2% to 12 million, business travel was up by 6% to 7.2 million and VFR traffic increased by 3% to 8.7 million. Other inbound travel was down by 8% to 2.7 million.


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