Tourists from emerging markets such as Russia and China are helping boost the number of visitors to Britain, according to VisitBritain.
"The most significant increase has been driven by visitors from Eastern Europe and long-haul destinations in the rest of the world," the national tourism body said.
Its comments came as new government figures showed a 15% rise in the number of visitors to the UK to 6.98 million during the three months to the end of June, when compared with the same period in 2003.
Visits from western Europe rose by 11% to 4.49 million, while those from north America were up by 20% to 1.24 million.
But the highest increase came in visits from the rest of the world, up by 29% to 1.25 million.
The amount they spent rose by 13% to £3.1b.
But the three-monthly figures masked a 1% fall in the number of visitors during the month of June to 2.4 million.
Visits from western Europe fell by 11% to 1.37 million during the month, while those from the rest of the world rose by 13% to 500,000 and those from north America by 19% to 520,000.
Despite the drop in volume, spending increased by 9% to £1.15b.
Spending for the year to date, however, is still 5% down on 2000, before foot-and-mouth and the 11 September attacks in New York.
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