Figures released today (17 November) show that August was the highest month ever for overseas visitor spending in the UK.
Overseas visitors spent £2.8bn in August, up 3% on the same month last year.
It was a record August for inbound visits to the UK, with 3.9 million visits, up 5% on the same month in 2016.
There was particularly strong growth in August in visits from EU countries, the UK’s largest visit-generating region, with 2.4 million visits, up 6%.
Today’s figures, from the Office for National Statistics, bring the total number of overseas visits to the UK from January to August to 27.1 million, up 8% on 2016. Spending by visitors during this period reached a record £16.4bn, up 10% on last year.
The latest market-specific figures, for the first six months of 2017, showed strong growth from China. Between January and June 2017 there were 115,000 inbound visits from China to the UK, up 47% on last year. Visitors from China spent a record £231m during this period, up 54%.
VisitBritain forecasts that inbound visits to the UK will reach 39.7 million by the end of this year, with overseas visitors spending £25.7bn.
John Glen, tourism minister, said: “Tourism is an economic force that creates jobs and drives growth up and down the country. These record-breaking figures for August reaffirm the UK’s position as a global go-to destination and show the continued strength of the sector.”