VisitBritain has reported an encouraging 11 per cent rise in holiday visits in the last three months of 2011, confirming Britain’s growing popularity at a key time for inbound tourism.
In the three months to May 2011 overseas residents made 7.8 million visits to the UK and spent just under £4 billion. The number of visits has risen by ten per cent year-on-year, while the spending has risen by seven per cent.
The marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on April 29th is thought to have been partly responsible for the spike in visitor numbers.
This trend continues as we break down the International Passenger survey figures - the key monitor of international tourism to the UK- by world region.
The number of visits from North America, the highest inbound spenders in the UK, were 15 per cent higher in the three months of 2011 than March-May 2010.
The number of visits from EU15 countries (nations who were members of the European Union before the 2004 expansion) were up six per cent in the three months to May 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.
Visits from European Accession countries are starting to show some signs of recovery, with a five per cent increase in the three months to May 2011 compared to the three months to May 2010.
Visits from remaining parts of the world - Central and South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia - were the highest seen in a May so far at 390,000.
This reflects growth of over a fifth (22 per cent) in the three months to May 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.
There was a seven per cent increase, in nominal terms, in the amount that overseas visitors spent in the UK during the three months to May 2011 compared with the same period a year before.
At £1.48 billion spend in May 2011 was nine per cent lower than the record level of £1.63 billion spent in May 2010 but higher than any other previous May.
Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director of strategy and communications said: “These new figures show real signs of growth for British tourism.
“Nearly eight million international tourists have come to Britain in the last three months which saw spending levels in the country rise by seven per cent.
“As we start to roll out our marketing programme we can see that Britain is recovering its international appeal.”
Also in the UK today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.