Breaking Travel News

Olympics drives down UK visitor numbers

Olympics drives down UK visitor numbers

Figures released by VisitBritain reveal arrivals dipped slightly during the Olympic Games.

Numbers were down five per cent during the month of August, but this still leaves overall visits for the year to date at the same level as 2011.

The figures show that the UK has received 20.9 million overseas visitors so far this year, in line with VisitBritain’s forecast that the country should expect around 31 million inbound arrivals in 2012.

August saw a nine per cent increase in visitor spend, with an all-time monthly record £2.38 billion injected into the UK economy.

This means that £12.3 billion has been spent in the UK by overseas visitors so far this year, up three per cent from 2011 and this also a record.

Some 590,000 overseas visitors indicated they had come to the UK, either attending a ticketed event, participating or working at the Games themselves.

These visitors spent around £760 million while in the country, on average spending £1,290, almost double what visitors would normally spend.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive at VisitBritain said: “The first six months of the year saw a record in terms of both the number of holiday arrivals and the amount of spend, and with August’s figures we are now at the same level as we were in 2011.

“Nearly 600,000 people have received the very warmest of British welcomes first hand as part of their Games experience, while millions of viewers around the world have seen Britain at its very best.”