The UK's tourism deficit has increased again, rising to £18.2b for the 12 months to March, it was revealed yesterday.
The publication of figures by the Office for National Statistics will place increasing pressure on the government over its lack of investment in tourism, coming just days after it was announced that VisitBritain was cutting up to 11% of its workforce.
According to the ONS, earnings from foreign tourists in the UK in the year to March increased by 8% to £15.5b, while expenditure by UK residents increased by 4% to £33.7b compared with the previous year.
This resulted in a deficit to the UK of £18.2b compared with £18b during the same period to March 2006.
In the 12 months to March this year, the number of foreign tourists visiting the UK rose by 7% on the previous year to 32.3 million.
The estimated number of UK residents' visits abroad in the first quarter of the year remained broadly the same at 17 million compared with the previous three months and increased by 2% compared with the three months to March 2006.
By Daniel Thomas
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