Visits from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from October to December last year saw double digit growth, according to VistBritain, boosted by the Rugby World Cup event.
The VisitBritain findings underline government figures showing 2015 was a record year for inbound tourism to Britain with 36.1 million visits, 5% up on 2014, and spending up 1% to £22.1b.
VisitBritain's figures also mirror those in the recently published Ernst& Young's report ‘The Economic Impact of Rugby World Cup 2015' which shows the Rugby World Cup 2015, was the most economically-successful ever.
According to VisitBritain's findings, visits from New Zealand to the UK increased by 52% to more than 40,000 with the Kiwis spending more than £63m in the period, more than twice as much as in 2014.
Visits and spend from Australia also increased around 20% to 219,000 and £254m respectively compared with the same period in 2014. Meanwhile visits from South Africa were up 30% to 58,000 with spend up 6% to £77m.
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: "Britain shone in the global spotlight as the host of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and it's great to see the huge growth in visits and spend from some of the world's top rugby-watching nations including Australia, our fourth most valuable market.
"Almost half a million international visitors attended matches and events across 11 host cities throughout the seven week tournament which gave these areas fantastic global exposure, introducing new places to many overseas visitors."
Ernst & Young's report showed that last year's Rugby World Cup generated nearly £2.3b in economic output. The 406,000 international visitors for the games each stayed for 14 days in the UK, spending £958m, at an average of £2,400 per person. This breaks down to £270m on accommodation, £233m on leisure activities, £188m on food and drink, £156m on travel and £111m on retail.
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