New York, New York (July 13, 2017) – Figures released today by VisitBritain show strong growth in the number of overseas visits to the UK from markets including China, Australia, France and the US in the first three months of 2017.
The figures show it was a record first quarter for overall inbound visits and spend, with 8.3 million visits, up 10%, and spending up by 16% to £4.4 billion ($5.7 billion) compared to January to March last year.
The statistics also show that in first three months of 2017, visits from the US, the UK’s most valuable visitor market, grew by 16%, to 641,000, compared to the same period last year, with visitors spending a record £604 million ($780 million), up 29%.
Paul Gauger, VisitBritain Executive Vice President – Americas, says:
“Great Britain continues to maintain its status as a highly sought-after destination for American travelers, as evidenced by the continued positive trend of visitors to our nations. Following our record-breaking year in 2016, we’re thrilled to see such a significant increase of 16% from U.S. travelers who are excited to experience everything Britain has to offer.”
He adds: “As our most valuable overseas market, the 641,000 U.S. visitors to Britain in January-March of 2017 alone is extremely promising for our future outlook. North American travelers are recognizing that Britain offers incredible value for their dollar, as well as variety of experiences and attractions for travelers of every age and budget. Our collaborative campaigns with trusted industry partners, such British Airways, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, demonstrate our dedication to increasing market share in the U.S. and welcoming more visitors.”
Latest data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings from the US to the UK are tracking 21% ahead for July-September 2017 compared to the same period last year.
Bookings overall for international arrivals to the UK during the summer are currently tracking 9% ahead of the same period last year.
Other markets showing strong growth in the first three months of this year include Australia, China, Belgium, Denmark, France, India and Japan. Australia and China both set records, with a 10% increase in visits from Australia and 27% increase in visits from China. Visits from India grew 32% to 68,000, while visits from Brazil were up 16% to 53,000. A new record was set for the number of inbound visits from Spain, which grew by 18% to 656,000, and spending up 17% to £230 million ($297 million), another quarter one record.
Tourism is worth £127 billion ($164 billion) annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.
VisitBritain Media Contact:
PR & Marketing Manager
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com