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August visits to the UK fell by 2% but spend up 7%, say latest ONS tourist figures

10 October 2014 by

Visits to the UK by overseas residents fell by 2% in August 2014, but earnings from these visits rose by 7%, according to the latest ONS Travel and Tourism figures.

Visits to the UK by overseas residents in August 2014 were at 3.5m, earning over £2.6b.

Overall, visits to the UK by overseas residents have risen by 6% in the year to date, and earnings by 1%.

In contrast, visits abroad by UK residents fell by 1% in the past three months, compared with the same period last year, and expenditure fell by over a fifth (22%).

Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, commented on the latest figures: "Despite the surprising dip in year on year numbers for August, the overall picture throughout most of 2014 is one of growing visitor numbers and spend. A rich culture, highly sought-after retail offering and top leisure facilities continue to attract an increasing number of overseas visitors."

He added that the drop in UK travellers overseas was likely more a result of the good summer weather in the UK rather than any reflection on current levels of spend.

The latest results represent a surprising downturn in the record of the past few months, which have seen record-breaking visitor numbers in 2014 compared with the same months last year.

Inbound tourism to Britain in 2014 still on track to break records >>

VisitBritain on track to achieve record number of inbound tourists and spend >>

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