Records have been set in 2015 for inbound visits with strong growth from Britain’s major inbound markets including the US and Europe and double digit growth from newer markets China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show stellar growth from China with visits up 46 per cent on 2014 to 270,000, and spend up 18% to £586 million, moving China into the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound markets.
Visits from the US, the UK’s most valuable tourism source market, grew 10% to 3.3 million in 2015. Visitors from the US spent £3 billion, a record not only from this market but the first time a single visitor market has broken the £3 billion spending mark.
A record was also set for visits from the high-spending UAE, up 34% in 2015 to 347,000 with spend up 12% to £487 million.
Tourism Minister David Evennett said:
“Our tourism industry is world-class and these impressive figures show that our nations and regions are increasingly benefitting from this thriving sector.
“Britain boasts some of the best attractions in the world and drawing more visitors in from key markets like China and the US is fantastic news for the whole country and shows our tourism strategy is working.”
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said:
“Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry so it is fantastic to see Britain competing strongly in our most valuable source markets such as the US as well as in the markets that are crucial for our future such as China.
“Our innovative digital marketing campaign using the hashtag #OMGB continues to drive tourism across our nations and regions, spreading its economic benefits across the UK.”
Other results include:
France overtook Germany in 2015 to reach second place for visitor spending, up 4% to £1.5 billion with visits up 1% to 4.2 million. Visits from Germany were up 1% to 3.2 million with £1.4 billion spent.
Visits from Spain were up 11% to 2.2 million. While visits from Poland reached a record 1.7 million, up 14%, with spending rising 23% to £438 million.
Strong growth was seen from Canada with visits up 9% to 708,000 and spending up 7% to £506 million.
Inbound visits from India also set a record, up 8% to 422,000. Visits from Brazil rose 10% to a record 324,000, with spending up 1% to £256 million.