New figures show that it was a record April for the number of overseas visits to the UK and spend.
VisitBritain figures show that 3.7 million visits were made to the UK in April this year, up 19% compared to the same month last year and the highest April since records began. Overseas visitors spent a record £2 billion in April, 20% up on the same month last year.
Today’s figures come on the back of a record first-quarter for inbound visits to the UK and spend.
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said:
“Tourism is one of Britain’s most valuable export industries and it is very encouraging to see this continued growth as we head into the peak summer season and beyond. We continue to drive home the message of value and welcome globally, particularly in our high spending markets China and the US and the valuable European market.”
Today’s figures bring the number of inbound visits to the UK for January to April this year to a record 11.8 million, 11% up on the same period in 2016 with visitors spending £6.2 billion, up 14% and also setting a new record.
Growth this year has been led from long-haul regions including North America with more than one million visits from January to April, up 16% compared to the same period last year.
There were a record 8.3 million visits from the EU from January to April this year, up 7% on 2016.
Strong growth has also been seen in holiday visits with a record 4.4 million visits from January to April this year, up 26% on the same period in 2016.
Latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that bookings for international arrivals to the UK during the summer are currently tracking 12% ahead of the same period last year.
Tourism is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.