Record April for overseas visits to the UK
New figures show that it was a record April for the number of overseas visits to the UK as well as the amount of money spent.
VisitBritain figures show that 3.7 million visits were made to the UK in April this year, up 19 per cent compared to the same month last year and the highest April since records began.
Overseas visitors spent a record £2 billion in April, 20 per cent up on the same month last year. The 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.”
The new figures bring the number of inbound visits to the UK for January to April this year to a record 11.8 million, 11 per cent up on the same period in 2016 with visitors spending £6.2 billion, up 14 per cent 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 per cent compared to the same period last year.
There was a record 8.3 million visits from the EU from January to April this year, up 7 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent ahead of the same period last year.