The percentage of international visitors who said they felt extremely welcome in Britain has more than doubled in the last five years according to a new report by national tourism agency VisitBritain.
The ‘Britain’s welcome to overseas visitors’ report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 visitors as they departed Great Britain, found that 42 per cent said they felt extremely welcome, compared to 30 per cent in 2012 and 19 per cent in 2009.
Overall, 89 per cent of visitors surveyed said they felt extremely or very welcome in Britain.
Of those, 93 per cent said they would also be extremely or very likely to recommend visiting Britain to family and friends.
Danes and Canadians felt the most welcome according to the survey followed by visitors from Sweden, India and the USA.
The report’s findings, based on the Civil Aviation Authority’s survey of departing visitors in 2014, echo the 2015 Anholt-GfK Nations Brand Index results published last month.
The UK came third out of 50 nations for its overall ‘brand’ in this year’s index and improved its rank on being seen as ‘welcoming,’ up two places on last year coming 11th with big gains from China, Egypt, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.
The UK also came fourth out of 50 nations for how favourable people’s attitudes are towards it, two places up on last year.
UK Government minister for tourism Tracey Crouch said: “It’s great to see that more overseas tourists are getting a world class welcome when they visit us.
“UK tourism is a global success story and more tourists leaving with positive memories of their stay can only help spread the word that the UK is the place to visit.”
VisitBritain’s report also noted that personal recommendations scored top in influencing or inspiring people where to go on holiday, and were considered more influential than travel brochures, special offers or advertising.
In some markets, including four of Britain’s top markets, the USA, Canada, Spain and Australia, it was given as the most important factor from a choice of 22.