Record international visitors to English regions
There was a record 12.7 million visits to English regions outside London in the first nine months of 2017 – up four per cent on the same period in 2016, according to new statistics.
The official figures also showed that international visitors spent £6.1 billion across England’s regions during the same period.
There were 909,000 overseas visits to Wales from January to September last year, up six per cent compared to the same period in 2016, and visitors spent £337 million.
In Scotland, overseas visits increased 14 per cent to 2.6 million in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same time in 2016, with overseas visitors spending £1.8 billion.
The UK’s tourism Minister Michael Ellis said: “It is fantastic news that towns and cities across the UK are benefitting from the boom in tourism, and as the new Tourism Minister I want to ensure that this trend continues.
“Promoting the UK as a must visit destination to the rest of the world is paramount in ensuring that local areas can reap the benefits of tourism and I am committed to working with the sector to drive economic growth across the UK.”
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “Boosting inbound tourism throughout Britain is at the heart of our work, so it is very encouraging to see the growth across our nations and regions.
“Tourism is one of our most valuable export industries and we are forecasting that growth will continue in 2018, with 41.7 million overseas visits to the UK and visitors spending almost £27 billion.”
Of the English regions, the North West and the West Midlands had the largest percentage growth in overseas visits, both up 10 per cent compared to January to September 2016, to 2.4 million and 1.8 million respectively.