New data from UKinbound and VisitBritain has found that restaurants take 11% of all visitor spend with the guests from the USA accounting for the greatest share of spend.
According to the new report, in 2016 visitors from the USA spent the most in the UK, accounting for 24% of all visitor spend in restaurants. This is followed by France, Ireland and Spain. Surprisingly, though the Chinese rank highly on retail spend, the nation is ninth in terms of spend in restaurants.
Visitors from the Gulf states came out top for spend-per-visitor, leading with Qatar followed by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Bars, pubs and clubs contributed 1.7% of spend with visitors from the USA, France, Ireland and Spain spending the most at drinking establishments.
UKinbound's chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells said: "We are delighted to present these results alongside industry partner VisitBritain. The findings provide a valuable insight regarding inbound visitors' spending habits and provide further evidence of the incredible contribution that tourism makes to the UK economy. Further understanding our visitors will allow our members to tailor their itineraries, products and services, ensuring the UK remains a world class tourism destination."
VisitBritain's chief executive officer, Sally Balcombe said: "We want Britain to be top of people's list as a 'must-go now' destination. Understanding more about what our visitors want, and getting a fast read out of where they spend their money, will ensure we get the right products to them at the right time. The insights from this type of research are invaluable for the industry and crucial for us staying a competitive travel destination."
What Do Our Visitors Buy was based on visitor spending data from aggregate depersonalised card usage data provided by VisaVue Travel for the period of calendar year 2016.
Overseas visitors to UK increase by record-breaking 19.4% >>
UKinbound asks Theresa May to 'support our industry' >>
UKinbound scorns VisitBritain's 60% tourism growth figures >>
Videos from The Caterer archives