In 2017 there were a record 39.2 million inbound tourism visits to the UK, up 4% on the previous year, with overseas visitors spending £24.5bn, up 9%. VisitBritain is also expecting 40.9 million inbound visits in 2018 with overseas visitors forecast to spend £26.3bn.
According to the group, domestic tourism in England had also seen success from the growth in holidays to more frequent short breaks. Domestic tourism accounted for almost 80% of all tourism activity and £70bn was spent by domestic tourists in England last year.
UK minister for tourism Michael Ellis said: “Britain’s tourism industry is booming. Last year was a very strong year for domestic and inbound tourism, with tens of billions of pounds going into our economy. The government, alongside VisitBritain/VisitEngland, is working with the sector to build on this success with an emphasis on attracting major business events and investing in local tourism projects through the Discover England Fund.
“Tourism shows the world the best of our nation. As we approach the UK’s exit from the European Union, we are absolutely committed to helping the industry continue to grow, promoting the country as a must-visit destination and ensuring that local communities benefit.”