The post-Brexit month of July saw record numbers of foreign tourists visit the UK, new figures show.
July was the highest month ever for inbound tourism to the UK with 3.8 million visits, up 2% per cent on the same month last year.
Overseas visitors to the UK spent £2.5 billion in July, up 4% year-on-year.
Visits from EU countries, the UK’s largest visit-generating region, his record levels with 2.3 million visits, a rise of 3%, according to new Office for National Statistics data.
Growth of 5% to 580,000 was recorded from North America, which includes the US – the UK’s most valuable visitor market.
Arrivals from the ‘rest of the world’, which includes Australia, China, the Gulf markets and India, increased by 6% to 790,000.
The figures bring inbound visits for 2016 so far to 21.1 million, up 2% on the same period last year, with spending of £11.7 billion.
Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said:
“Britain is a world-class visitor destination with our stunning countryside, historic buildings and vibrant culture scene attracting a record number of visits from around the globe.
“Tourism makes an enormous contribution to our economy and we will continue to support the industry to ensure it thrives and that growth in the sector benefits the whole country.”
VisitBritain/VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe added:
“We want Britain to be top of people’s list as a ‘must-go now’ destination and we have an immediate and real opportunity to promote Britain as a great value destination, particularly in our long-haul high spending markets such as China and the US.
“We are refreshing our successful global #OMGB ‘Britain, Home of Amazing Moments’ campaign with stunning content from across our nations and regions to inspire visitors to put Britain at the top of their ‘wish list’, and working with commercial partners across the travel industry to ensure that inspiration to visit is converted into bookings, boosting the economy and jobs across our nations and regions.”
VisitBritain’s ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ campaign is being introduced on a rolling cycle globally from the autumn.
Last year set a record for inbound tourism to Britain on visits and spend with 36.1 million visits, 5% up on 2014, and spending up 1% to £22.1 billion.
Inbound tourism is worth more than £26 billion to the UK economy.
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