Visits by overseas residents to the UK rose from 29.5 million to 31 million during the 12 months which ended July, an increase of 5%, official figures reveal.
The number of North Americans coming to the UK rose by 7% (to 4.5 million), there were 4% more Western European tourists (to 19.8 million), while the number of visitors from the other parts of the world rose by 8% (to 6.7 million).
In the same 12-month period, visits abroad by UK residents rose by 3% from 65.8 million to 67.7 million, said the Office for National Statistics.
The number of visits to Western Europe increased by 1% (to 50.7 million), visits to North America decreased 6% (to 4.7 million) but rose to other parts of the world by 13% (to 12.3 million).
Over the same period, the number of visits overseas by UK residents decreased by 1% (to 17 million) when compared with the previous three months, while the associated spending remained broadly the same at £8.4b.
By Daniel Thomas