Rates of inbound tourism to Britain are continuing to break records, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figures, which follow a record-breaking January for inbound visits, show the number of international visits to Britain in February rose 8% on the same month last year. Over 2.25 million visits were made in February 2016 with visitors spending £1.08b, up 6% on the same period last year. Business visits also secured an all-time February high this year, up 12% on the same month last year with 750,000 visits.
Inbound tourism is estimated to be worth more than £26b to the UK economy and is set to grow as visitor numbers continue to rise. Last year also saw records set for inbound tourism to Britain with 35.8 million visits, 4% up on 2014 and 20% higher than in 2010.
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: "These back-to-back record-breaking figures leave no doubt that 2016 is off to a cracking start for inbound tourism as we continue, through our international marketing campaigns, to promote Britain as the ‘Home of Amazing Moments,' inspiring even more visitors to come and explore all our nations and regions."
Tourism minister David Evennett added: "This record-breaking start to the year shows that our fantastic array of attractions remain hugely popular with visitors from all over the world. There is so much to see and do across the whole of the UK and we are absolutely committed to encouraging tourists to see all the hidden gems we have to offer."
VisitBritain is also predicting continued strong growth in inbound tourism this year, propelled by events such as the Queen's 90th birthday, the arrival of US President Barack Obama and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
The organisation is currently running a social media campaign from its Twitter handle @VisitBritain to encourage President Obama, who has 73 million Twitter followers, to tweet during his visit this week using the hashtag #OMGB (Oh My Great Britain).
Latest video from The Caterer