Latest International Figures Show Signs of North American Recovery

Latest inbound tourism figures released today for the three months to September 2003 suggest that visitors from North America are beginning to travel again and September alone saw a 14% increase compared to the same month in 2002. This has contributed to a rise of 2% in overall visits and 1% in overall spend for the latest quarter.North American visits over the last two quarters have also shown steady improvements rising from a decline of 14% April-June to a 1% increase July-September (compared to the same quarters in 2002) lending further credence that the recovery in this vital market is being sustained.

Visitors from Western Europe during September rose by 7% on the previous year, continuing on the 6% growth in August.

Tom Wright, chief executive, VisitBritain said: “This is excellent news for inbound tourism during the peak travel period for Britain’s international visitors. While we cannot judge recovery by one month’s figures, it is extremely welcome to see more North American visitors feeling more positive about long distance travel to Britain. It would certainly appear that VisitBritain’s summer campaign in the USA, in association with our industry partners, is already paying dividends. Closer to home, the continued roll-out of the European Short Breaks campaign - which promotes nineteen British cities in eleven European countries into 2004 - is continuing to help us grow the short-haul market.”