29th August 2014

Record Numbers of Tourists now Visiting the UK.

Information from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that more tourists than ever are making the UK their destination of choice. The first six months of the current year have been the most popular ever with over 16 million visits to the UK by tourists. This shows an increase of around 8% compared with the previous year.

The amount spent by tourists in the first half of the year has increased to almost £9 billion. In June alone a record amount of £1.97 billion was spent by the 3.18 million visitors from overseas.

The majority of visitors were from fellow EU countries and accounted for 11.38 million, while the rest of Europe provided 1.1 million, there were 1.57 million from North America and 2.28 million from other parts of the globe including Asia which reflects the growing number of Chinese visitors to our shores.

Last year (2013) was the first time tourists had spent more than £20 billion and this year's expenditure is comparable and may well exceed that figure.

Over the past few years tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in employment terms and between 2010 and 2012 was responsible for a third of the increase in UK jobs.

At VisitBritain the UK tourist agency, the head of research and forecasting David Edwards stated that the increase in tourism of the first six months of 2014 could herald a record year of income for the UK tourist industry. It was also very pleasing to see emerging markets across Latin America and Asia, coupled with growth from the high numbers visiting from across Europe.

Helen Grant, the Minister for Tourism Helen Grant was quoted as saying the numbers announced were "fantastic", and was happy that the governments strategy on tourism was showing positive results.