According to national tourism agency VisitBritain there was strong growth in overseas visits and spend to the UK’s nations and regions in the first six months of 2017.
There were a record 19.2 million visits to the UK in the first half of 2017, up 9% compared to the start of 2016. Inbound visitors spent £10.8 billion between January and June 2017, up 14% on the same time last year, a new record and the first-time inbound visitor spending has topped £10 billion in the first half of any year.
Visits to London between January and June 2017 were up 13% to 10 million, a record first six months. Overseas visitor spend also hit a record in London, at £6.1 billion in the first six months of this year, up 16% compared to the same time last year.
The statistics also show that international visits to Scotland in the first half of the year were up 14% to a record 1.3 million, with spend setting another record of £956 million, up 35% on the same time last year.
According to the VisitBritain, the number of Russian tourists also has been increased 118 thousand people (growth – by 48%). Russian visitors spent £ 97 million (growth – 82%). For comparison: over the same period of time, Britain was visited by more than a million US citizens, and 114 thousand Chinese. But they spent twice more than Russians. Americans – £ 1.77 billion (an increase of 28.4%), the Chinese – £ 231.12 million (an increase of 54.34%).
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said:
“It is encouraging to see such growth to our nations and regions, Britain has so much to offer, from our cool and modern cities to our stunning coastal towns and our charming rural villages, more and more overseas visitors are inspired to come here for a truly unique experience.”
VisitBritain forecasts that overseas visits to the UK will reach 39.7 million with spending up of £25.7 billion by the end of this calendar year.
Tourism is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.