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UK outbound tourism drops 10%

UK outbound tourism drops 10%

Latest figures from the UK’s Office of National Statistics have shown that the number of Britons travelling overseas has slumped 10 percent over the past year.

The credit crisis has had its biggest impact on travel to North America, with 15 percent (down to four million) less Britons crossing the pond. Trips to mainland Europe were down 10 percent to 63.5 million. Meanwhile numbers for the rest of the world fell 9 percent to 9.1 million.

The statistics also revealed that British holidaymakers are spending less abroad. In the quarter ending 30 June, spending fell 8 percent to £7.6bn, despite the number of visitors remaining constant.

The UK’s inbound market also took a hit. In the 12 months to June, the number of visitors fell eight percent to 30.5 million.

Despite the lure of cheap sterling, arrivals from Europe slid five percent to 22.9 million. The North America market too an even harder hit - down 22% to 3.4 million, whilst the rest of the world fell ten percent 4.2 million.


Patricia Yates, director of strategy at VisitBritain, said: “International visits in the first half of the year have certainly suffered from the effects of the economic climate on global travel, particularly for business.

“However, as the summer began Britain continued to benefit from a weak pound giving great exchange rates - particularly for our nearer European neighbours - and boosting spending.”