The overall visitor arrival trend for 2011 remains relatively buoyant and is on track to exceed 2010 figures.
The latest data for inbound tourism has been bolstered by growth throughout the year, despite relatively flat arrival figures during the peak months of July and August. There was a modest one per cent rise in arrivals in September, driven by record growth in holiday trips (up 5%) and a considerable increase in arrivals from North America (up 22%) where we have previously lost ground. These factors have helped total visits for the year so far to rise three per cent on 2010 levels.
Visitor spending for the month was up seven per cent on the low of September 2010, with £1.5 billion coming in to the UK economy from overseas. Building on the record spend seen in June and July, overall spend per visit is up four per cent from the previous year and has resulted in record earnings across Britain of £13.2 billion so far in 2011.
The latest figures come in a week that has seen VisitBritain receive £27 million to undertake a major brand building campaign in key overseas markets. This will see the national tourism agency extend the GREAT brand over the next year, with an advertising campaign in major cities worldwide to help increase efforts to attract an even greater number of overseas visitors during the Olympic year and beyond.
Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said: “Today’s figures are an encouraging sign for Britain’s tourism sector, which can continue to grow over the next few years and which will be strengthened by the image boost that hosting next year’s Games will bring.
“The £27 million announced earlier this week is a welcome injection of extra funding and great news for tourism. It means we will be able to compete even more strongly on the world stage and will allow us to increase our efforts to attract an even greater number of overseas visitors.”
Tourism is the fifth largest industry in the UK and is Britain’s third largest earner of foreign exchange. VisitBritain believes tourism has the potential to be one of the five fastest growing sectors of the UK economy in the years ahead, creating new jobs and economic growth.
Also in Europe 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.