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The proportion of foreign visitors who said they felt ‘extremely welcome’ in the UK has more than doubled in the last five years, a new study reveals.
The report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 visitors as they departed the country, found that 42% said they felt extremely welcome, compared to 30% in 2012 and 19% in 2009.
Overall, 89% of visitors surveyed for VisitBritain said they felt extremely or very welcome in the UK.
Of those, 93% said they would also be extremely or very likely to recommend visiting Britain to family and friends.
Danes and Canadians felt the most welcome, followed by visitors from Sweden, India and the US.
Personal recommendations scored top in influencing or inspiring people where to go on holiday, and were considered more influential than brochures, special offers or advertising, according to the study.
In some countries, including four of the UK’s top markets, the US, Canada, Spain and Australia, it was given as the most important factor from a choice of 22.
Tourism minister, Tracey Crouch, said:
“It’s great to see that more overseas tourists are getting a world class welcome when they visit us.
“UK tourism is a global success story and more tourists leaving with positive memories of their stay can only help spread the word that the UK is the place to visit.”
VisitBritain director, Patricia Yates, said:
“We know that being considered friendly and welcoming can really make a difference to people’s travel decisions and whether they would recommend a destination.
“In an era where social media recommendations from friends are so important, it is great to see these historically weaker areas continuing to improve.
“We’ve been focusing on promoting Britain’s welcome around the world through our global Welcome to Great Britain marketing campaigns so it is good to see these improvements not only in our traditionally high value markets such as the USA, but also in our emerging visitor markets including India and growth markets such as China.”
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