American travelers spend record amounts in Great Britain

Wednesday 31 May 2017

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, has today released the latest official statistics which show that the U.K. saw record-breaking spend from U.S. visitors in 2016.


Visitors from the U.S., the U.K.’s most valuable overseas tourism market, spent £3.4 billion ($4.4 billion USD) across the U.K. last year, the highest amount since records began and up 11% on 2015 figures.  The latest statistics from the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) also show that visits from the U.S. were up 6% to 3.5 million in 2016, compared to the previous year. This represents the highest visitor numbers since 2007.


VisitBritain Interim Executive Vice President, Americas, Paul Gauger said:


“2016 was a standout year for American travel to Britain and marks the best visitor numbers we have seen since 2007, before the global financial downturn,” says Paul Gauger, Executive Vice President Americas for VisitBritain.


He adds: “It is great to see Britain competing strongly in the U.S., its most valuable overseas visitor market. We are seizing the opportunity by promoting a message of value and welcome, and showcasing the diversity of experiences you can only have in Britain through our “Home of Amazing Moments” #OMGB campaign. Working in collaboration with the U.S. travel industry, including Expedia, British Airways, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, will help us convert inspiration into bookings and continue growing market share in the U.S.”


The global picture was also positive for Britain in 2016: Visits were up 4% on 2015 to 37.6 million while global spend was up 2% to £22.5 billion.


Projections for 2017 are looking equally strong with VisitBritain forecasting 38.1 million global visits. New figures released today, indicate a strong start for North America with visits from January – March 2017 up 17% (760,000 visits) compared to the same period last year. 


Due to the favorable exchange rate, Britain is the best value it has been for Americans in decades. Latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings from the U.S. to the UK are up 24% for May to July this year compared to the same period in 2016. 

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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