New figures released today show that it was a record-breaking August for inbound tourism to the UK with 3.8 million visits, up two per cent on the same month last year.
Overseas visitors to the UK spent £2.6 billion in August, four per cent up on the same month last year.
August saw strong growth from North America, which includes the US – the UK’s most valuable visitor market – with 510,000 visits, up 13 per cent compared to the same month last year.
The Office for National Statistics figures also show a record-breaking first eight months of the year for visits from EU countries, the UK’s largest visit-generating region, with 16.8 million visits, three per cent up on last year.
Today’s figures bring inbound visits from January to August this year to 25 million, up three per cent on the same period last year and a record year–to-date.
Spending by visitors during this period was £14.6 billion.
Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said: “This year has been an incredible year for British tourism and underlined our status as one of the top visitor destinations in the world.
“We continue to attract a record number of tourists from across the globe, which is not only great news for the sector, but the whole economy.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting the industry, and our Tourism Action Plan and £40 million Discover England Fund will help it grow further and spread the economic benefits across the country.”
This month VisitBritain and Expedia launched a multi-million pound three-year partnership to market Britain abroad to France, Germany and the US, Britain’s three largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets.
Developing products that make it easier for overseas visitors to navigate Britain and experience more of what the nations and regions have to offer is central to the partnership.
The latest record-breaking numbers follow new figures announced by VisitBritain earlier this month that showed that overseas visitors spent an extra £800 million across the nations and regions of Britain as a result of its work in 2015-16.
That meant that every £1 invested in VisitBritain’s activities resulted in an overseas visitor spending £23 in Britain.