Visits to the UK reached a record high in the first two months of the year.
Official figures from VisitBritain showed that there were 5.2m visits, up 6% on the same period last year. Visitors from abroad spent a record £2.7bn, up 11% on the previous year.
Patricia Yates, director of VisitBritain, said: “These figures show that 2017 is off to a cracking start for inbound tourism, one of our most valuable export industries.
“Britain is offering great value for overseas visitors and we can see the success of our promotions in international markets. We must continue to build on our message of welcome and value in our high spending markets such as China, the US and the valuable European market.”
VisitBritain predicts that the growth will continue for the rest of the year, with flight booking data showing that bookings to the UK between April and September are up by 21% compared with the previous year.
These figures surpass 2016 which was also a record breaking year for inbound tourism, with 37.3m visits, up 3.4% on 2015.