People, Travel

UK Tourism Continues to Grow

UK Tourism Continues to GrowUK Tourism Continues to Grow

After a record 2016, the number of people visiting the UK from abroad continued to rise at a ferocious pace during the first four months of 2017.

Around 8.3 million visits to the UK were recorded during the first quarter of the year, marking a 10% rise in the same period of last year and the best ever first quarter of any year in history, The Independent reported.

Tourists were particularly helped by a weak pound. Spending rose by 16% to £4.4 billion.

VisitBritain, which compiled the figures, said the UK saw a record 54,000 visits from China between January and March, up 27%, with visitors from that country spending a record £91 million.

Visits from the US, which is the UK’s most valuable market, grew by 16% to 641,000. Those visitors also spent a record £604 million, up 29% on the same period of a year earlier.

“It is very encouraging to see such strong growth from some of our largest and most valuable markets, including France and the US, as well as markets that are important for our future, such as China,” said VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates.

She anticipates a “strong summer holiday season”.

The UK has proved particularly popular among cash-conscious international travelers since the pound’s sharp devaluation against the dollar and the euro in the aftermath of last June’s Brexit vote.

It’s still around 13% lower against both the dollar and euro since the referendum, particularly enhancing the UK’s appeal as a shopping destination.

More overseas tourists came to the UK during the whole of 2016 than during any year in history and payment provider Worldpay in January said spending by Chinese visitors had increased by 24% year-on-year over the Christmas period.


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