The UK government body measures quarterly the number of visitors but also how many hotel nights they stay, as well as the all-new, critical economic indicator – how much cash they spend.
Carol Maddison, Manager Middle East, VisitBritain, said: “The Gulf is a very important feeder market for British tourism, and always has been. What is so exciting now is that the size of the market has been shown to be really growing significantly, particularly affluent visitors with the capability to spend heavily while on the ground in Britain.”
H1 2011 visitor growth from the UAE was up 30% over the same time last year, at 100,000 visitors. Hotel room nights were up 15% over the same time last year, at 925,000 hotel nights. UAE spend was up 13% at 110 million pounds sterling.
For Saudi Arabia, 2011 growth was even more impressive. H1 2011 visitor growth was up 67% on the same time last year, at 40,000 Saudi visitors. Hotel room nights were up 154% over the same period last year, at 537,000 hotel nights. Saudi visitors to Britain spent 136% more than the same time last year, at 97 million pounds sterling.
“This is an encouraging sign for tourism across Britain, and shows that the UK is very much open for business and making the most of the opportunity presented by hosting next year’s Olympics,” concluded Maddison.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com