The latest 2016-17 review released by national tourism agency VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s shows that an extra £872 million in visitor spending was generated across the UK in the last year as a result of its work.

It means for every pound invested in the organisation, £20 of additional visitor spend was generated for the economy on the back of strong growth from inbound tourism.

Key points include:

  • there were a record 23.1 million overseas visits to the UK in the first six months of this year, up 8% on the same period last year
  • visitor spend was up 9% at £13.3 billion
  • overseas visits to the UK are forecast to increase 6% to 39.7 million in 2017
  • spend is forecast to increase 14% to £25.7 billion by the end of 2017
  • domestic overnight holidays in England rose 7% to a record 20.4 million
  • British visitors spent £4.6 billion, up 17%.

UK Minister for Tourism, John Glen, said:

“Tourism contributes billions to the UK economy, supports millions of jobs and is the lifeblood for many communities across the country. We have seen record-breaking inbound visits and spend this summer, which is testament to our world-class attractions and the innovation of our tourism industry.”

British Tourist Authority Chairman, Steve Ridgway CBE, said the weak pound was making visiting Britain more attractive, and that the organisation had delivered for British tourism. He said :

Two and a half times bigger than the automotive industry, employing three million, tourism is one of our most successful exports and needs no trade deals to compete globally.

“Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and you cannot just build a strong, resilient industry on a weaker currency. We must continue to invest in developing world-class tourism products, getting Britain on the wish-list of international and domestic travellers. And we must make it easy for visitors to make that trip.

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