More than eight million foreign tourists visited the UK during September to November last year spending almost £4b, official figures released today reveal.
The 8.1m figure was an increase of 3% compared with the previous quarter and up 7% on the same period in 2006, the Office for National Statistics said.
Spending compared with the previous three months was broadly the same, but showed an increase of 8% with the same period in 2005, to £3.9b
Visits overseas by UK residents fell by 1% (to 16.7 million) when compared with the previous three months, but remained the same compared with the same period in 2005.
Spending compared with the previous three months decreased by 3%, and was 1% down on the same period a year earlier, to £8.1b.
Looking at the 12 months to November, visits by foreign tourists rose by 6% from 30.1 million to 31.9 million.
The number of visits from North American tourist showed an increase of 7% (to 4.5 million), from residents of Western Europe of 4% (to 20.4 million), and from other parts of the world of 10% (to 7.1 million).
In the same 12-month period, visits abroad by UK residents rose by 2% from 66.5 million to 68.1 million.
Visits to North America fell by 9% (to 4.5 million), visits to Western Europe rose by 2% (at 50.9 million) and to other parts of the world increased by 11% (to 12.7 million).
By Daniel Thomas
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