International visitors spent an extra £800 million across the nations and regions of Britain in the last year as a result of work by the national tourism agency VisitBritain, latest figures show.
This means that every £1 invested in VisitBritain’s activities resulted in an overseas visitor spending £23 in Britain.
Domestic visitors spent an additional £97.2 million in England as a result of VisitEngland’s 2015 ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ campaign.
The figures, announced today at the launch of the agency’s 2015-16 annual review, come on the back of a bounce from inbound tourism to the UK in July with more visits than ever before, up two per cent to 3.8 million compared to the same month last year, with spend up four per cent to £2.5 billion.
It continues a long-term pattern of growth which last year saw a record 36.1 million inbound visits to Britain and spend of £22.1 billion.
Domestic visitors also spent more in England last year than ever before, with £19.6 billion spent by Brits on overnight trips, up eight per cent on 2014.
Welcoming the minister for tourism Tracey Crouch to the launch, British Tourist Authority chairman Christopher Rodrigues said that VisitBritain/VisitEngland was in “pole position” to build on this growth and fulfil its government remit of growing the value of inbound tourism to the nations and regions, and developing England’s tourism product through the Discover England Fund.
“Tourism is a shining star in an uncertain world.
“As our fourth biggest service export, and one of our fastest growing sectors, tourism’s importance as a key economic driver and job creator is clear.
“While the talk is of trade deals with new markets, tourism is already leading the way, competing strongly in our most valuable source markets such as the US and in markets that are crucial for our future including China,” he said.
Rodrigues said that VisitBritain was seizing the opportunity to promote a message of value and welcome globally, launching its #OMGB ‘Britain, Home of Amazing Moments’ campaign with new content this autumn across its major markets in Europe, the US and Australia and the growth markets of China, the Gulf countries and India.
Crouch added: “These amazing figures show that Britain continues to be a world-class visitor destination. Together with VisitBritain/VisitEngland, our tourism strategy is working and it is fantastic news that so many overseas and domestic visitors are exploring the stunning countryside, historic buildings and vibrant culture that our country has to offer.”
Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy.