International visits to Britain for the first nine months of 2015 have broken previous records according to new figures out today from the Office for National Statistics.
The data shows there were 27.1 million visits to Britain from January to September this year, a three per cent increase compared to the same period in 2014.
Spending by international visitors in September was £2.2 billion, equalling last year’s record spend for the same month.
Overall, spending by visitors for the first nine months of 2015 was £16.5 billion.
The continued growth in international visits reflects findings from the 2015 Anholt-GfK Nations Brand Index, which showed that global perceptions of Britain as a welcoming place are improving.
China in particular gave the UK a big boost for ‘welcome’ in the NBI, scoring it third overall for this ‘attribute,’ up 11 places from 2014.
China also ranked the UK first overall for culture and second overall for not only tourism but also as a place they’d like to visit if money was no object.
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “It’s really great to see the continued growth in visitor numbers as well as the gains we’ve made in global perceptions of our brand.
“Promoting Britain’s countryside, culture and ‘welcome’ around the world have been a focus for VisitBritain so it’s really positive to see the big improvements in these areas.”