Domestic tourism reaches highest level since 2012

Domestic tourism in England increased in 2015, with record-breaking spend and the highest number of trips since 2012.

That’s according to the recent Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) from VisitEngland, which recorded 103 million overnight trips in England last year – an 11% increase compared with 2014.

There was also an 8% increase in expenditure compared with the previous year, with a total spend of £19.6m. This is a new record for the amount spent by domestic tourists in England.

The number of holidays taken in England in 2015 increased by 7% from the previous year to 43.7 million, while holiday expenditure also increased by 7%.

Visits to friends and family were said to be an “important driver” of growth with the number of trips up by 13% to 40.6 million – the highest level since 2006 – and a 15% increase in expenditure.

All regions across England experienced growth in overnight trips and spend, with Yorkshire (20%), the West Midlands (22%), London (14%) and the South West (14%) recording the greatest increases.

Regions that experienced double-digit spend included the West Midlands (26%), North East (15%), South West (13%) and Yorkshire (11%).

Overall, 124 million trips were recorded across Great Britain. This represented a 9% increase on 2014 with spend also up by 9% to £25bn.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said: “Tourism is one of our fastest growing sectors and we are absolutely committed to helping support the industry across the whole country.

“The increase in visitors and spend throughout the regions is excellent news for our economy and shows that our stunning countryside and world-leading attractions are a huge draw for domestic visitors.”

Sally Balcombe, CEO at VisitEngland, added: “These hugely encouraging results demonstrate the growing importance of tourism to the UK economy as we continue our drive to get visitors out exploring more of our regions, ensuring that economic growth from tourism is felt across the whole country.”

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