Overseas visitors to spend £14.7b on hotels and restaurants in 2017

02 May 2014 by
Overseas visitors to spend £14.7b on hotels and restaurants in 2017

The UK is expected to see spend from overseas visitors rocket as they flock to the UK in the coming years.

That's according to a new report from Barclays, independently commissioned for Barclays' Retail and Hospitality & Leisure banking teams, which reveals that spending from foreign tourists is predicted to reach over £27b by 2017, an increase of 34% on 2013.

The increase is expected to come from rapid growth in spend among tourists from emerging economies, helped along by loosening visa restrictions.

Visitors from the US currently spend the most in the UK, followed by France and Germany and this spending pattern will continue through to 2017. However, emerging economies such as China, the UAE and Russia are set to outstrip them in growth terms owing to the increasing wealth of consumers in these countries, in particular their growing middle-classes. The UAE and Russia are set to break into the top 10 nationalities to visit the UK by 2017 and tourists from China alone will spend over £1b in 2017, up by 84% from 2013.

Mike Saul, head of hospitality & leisure at Barclays said: "Opportunities abound for both retailers and the leisure industry to capitalise on these growing tourist numbers and spend. Businesses putting in the time and effort to understand their client demographic and to talk to their audience through whatever channels they use, be it social media or more traditional, will carve out an advantage that will enable them to offer something more tailored for each nationality that visits our shores.

"For our retailers, it is also worth considering that British-made goods remain popular amongst overseas consumers, so it would be time well-spent evaluating how they market their products to audiences from overseas eager to snap up ‘Brand Britain'."

The sectors that will benefit extensively from this rise in tourist spending are undoubtedly the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, with both expected to boom.

Spending on hotels, eating out and attractions will rise by 33% to £14.7b in 2017. Overseas visitors are set to spend £5.3b on eating out by 2017, up by 34%, with spend on leisure attractions increasing by 32% to £2b by 2017, and hotel accommodation attracting £7.3b in spend by 2017, an increase of 33%.

Top 10 foreign nationalities' spend

1 USA - £2.49b (12.3%) USA - £2.92b (10.8%)
2 France - £1.54b (7.6%) France - £1.79b (6.6%)
3 Germany - £1.29b (6.4%) Germany - £1.66b (6.2%)
4 Australia - £1.07b (5.3%) Australia - £1.35b (5%)
5 Irish Republic - £773m (3.8%) China - £1.01b (3.7%)
6 Spain - £754m (3.7%) Irish Republic - £774m (2.9%)
7 Italy - £744m (3.7%) United Arab Emirates - £756m (2.8%)
8 Netherlands - £611m (3%) Italy - £753m (2.8%)
9 Canada - £577m (2.9%) Spain - £750m (2.8%)
10 China - £549m (2.7%) Russia - £750m (2.8%)
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