Record inbound tourism figures for first half of 2015

21 August 2015 by
Record inbound tourism figures for first half of 2015

The number of overseas visitors to the UK during the first half of the year reached a record high, but spending remained on a par with 2014 figures, according to VisitBritain.

Visits to the UK by overseas visitors were also 3% higher in the 12 months to June 2015 compared with the previous 12-month period.

In June, the UK welcomed 3.23 million visitors, which was in line with the record set in June 2014.

North American tourists, the most valuable market to the UK, increased in number by 15% during June compared with the previous year. Visits were 4% higher in the first six months of 2015, compared with the start of 2014.

Business visits have set a new June record with 16% growth in June 2015, compared with the same period in 2014. VisitBritain said business visits to the UK showed a 13% increase compared with the first half of 2014 with double digit (month-on-month) growth in four of the first six months of this year.

Another record for the first six months of any year was set by the 9.8 million visits from the UK's largest visit-generating region, the EU15 countries. More than half (58%) of all overseas visits were made by the EU15 markets - a 3% increase from the first half of 2014.

However, spending for the first six months of 2015 remained on a par with the first six months of 2014 - which closed as a record spending year.

Spending throughout the first six months of 2015 reflects the impact of exchange rate shifts, such as strong sterling compared with the euro, according to VisitBritain.

Overseas visitors spent £2.1b (in nominal terms) in the UK during June, 1% below the record June 2014.

Patricia Yates, director of strategy & communications at VisitBritain, said: "Tourism continues to be one of Britain's most successful industries, where we are competing in an environment of shifting exchange rates. It is also positive to see continued return to growth from North America, our most valuable market, and business visitors."

Tourist spend to British regions breaks records, says VisitBritain >>

Tourist spend predicted to increase by £1b in 2015 >>

Record inbound tourism figures for 2014 >>

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