The UK saw a record number of inbound visitors in this year, with figures up 8% compared to 2016.
The figures, announced today (10 October) at VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s 2016-17 annual review, showed that from January to July this year there were 23.1 million overseas visits to the UK, with visitors spending £13.bn, up 9%.
This means for every pound invested in the tourism agency £20 of additional visitor spend was generated for the economy.
VisitBritain is forecasting that overseas visits to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7 million in 2017 with spending up 14% to £25.7bn by the end of this calendar year.
Brits are also taking more staycations. From January to June this year, domestic overnight holidays in England rose 7% to a record 20.4 million with visitors spending £4.6bn, up 17% and also a record.
John Glen, UK Minister for Tourism, said: “Tourism contributes billions to the UK economy, supports millions of jobs and is the lifeblood for many communities across the country. We have seen record-breaking inbound visits and spend this summer, which is testament to our world-class attractions and the innovation of our tourism industry.
“Internationally we are performing strongly in a hugely competitive market and I will continue to work closely with the sector to maintain growth, get the best possible deal as we exit the EU and retain the UK’s position as the must-visit destination.”