Overseas visits to London falls

Figures show that visits by overseas residents to the UK, and in particular London, between July and September 2005 may have been affected by the July bombings. The figures are published in the latest quarterly analysis of the International Passenger Survey from the Office for National Statistics.

There were 8.9 million visits by overseas residents to the UK during the third quarter of 2005, a 4 per cent increase on the equivalent period in 2004. This compares with increases of 14 per cent in the first quarter and 12 per cent in the second quarter of 2005.

There was a 2 per cent fall, to 3.7 million, in the number of visits to London in the third quarter 2005 compared with the same quarter of 2004. This compares with increases of 14 per cent and 10 per cent in the first and second quarters of 2005, respectively.

The number of visits to London in the third quarter of 2005 by residents of various regions of the world showed some variation compared with the same quarter of 2004: the number of visits from North American residents remained unchanged (having fallen in the first two quarters by 11 per cent and 4 per cent respectively); visits from residents of Europe and the rest of the world fell by 5 per cent and 6 per cent respectively having increased in each of the first two quarters.

More recent provisional monthly data show that the number of visits abroad by UK residents rose by 4 per cent during the 12 months ending November 2005, from 64.0 million to 66.4 million.

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Over this period, visits to Western Europe rose 1 per cent (to 50.0 million), to North America by 4 per cent (to 5.0 million) and to other parts of the world by 19 per cent (to 11.4 million).

In the same 12-month period, visits by overseas residents to the UK rose by 10 per cent, from 27.4 million to 30.1 million. Although visits from residents of North America showed a decrease of 4 per cent (to 4.2 million), there was an increase in visits from residents of Western Europe of 11 per cent (to 19.5 million), and from other parts of the world of 18 per cent (to 6.4 million).

During September to November 2005, there were 7.6 million visits to the UK by overseas residents - an increase of 2 per cent when compared with the previous three months. Spending decreased by 2 per cent to GBP3.4 billion.

Over the same period, the number of visits overseas by UK residents rose by 1 per cent to 16.7 million, while the associated spending increased by 4 per cent to GBP8.2 billion.
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