August sees record spending from overseas visitors to UK

August sees record spending from overseas visitors to UK

Figures out today show that August was the highest month ever for overseas visitor spending in the UK.

Overseas visitors spent £2.8 billion in August, up the per cent on the same month last year.

It was a record August for inbound visits to the UK, with 3.9 million visits, up five per cent on the same month in 2016.

There was particularly strong growth in August in visits from EU countries, the UK’s largest visit-generating region, with 2.4 million visits, up six per cent.

Today’s figures, from the Office for National Statistics, bring the total number of overseas visits to the UK from January to August to 27.1 million, up eight per cent on 2016.

Spending by visitors during this period reached a record £16.4 billion, up ten per cent on last year.

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Tourism minister, John Glen, said: “Tourism is an economic force that creates jobs and drives growth up and down the country.

“These record-breaking figures for August reaffirm the UK’s position as a global go-to destination and show the continued strength of the sector.”

The latest market specific figures, for the first six months of 2017, showed strong growth from China, the world’s most valuable outbound market.

Between January and June 2017 there were 115,000 inbound visits from China to the UK, up 47 per cent on last year.

Visitors from China spent a record £231 million during this period, up 54 per cent.

Today’s statistics follow the publication yesterday of the 2017 Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index which saw the UK ranked third overall for tourism globally, equalling its highest rank ever and up two places from last year.

The ranking considered attributes including historic buildings and monuments, having a vibrant city life and natural beauty.

When considering its overall brand, the UK maintained a rank of third out of 50 nations in this year’s NBI, a position it has held since 2011.

VisitBritain forecasts that inbound visits to the UK will reach 39.7 million by the end of this year, with overseas visitors spending £25.7 billion.

Tourism is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.