Visits from India to Britain up 9%

27 January 2014 by

Visits from India to the UK were up by 9% in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period the year before.

That's according to new figures from VisitBritain, which is set to hit a high profile tourism mission in Mumbai and New Delhi this week.

The number of visits from India hit a record 306,000 visits and spending reached £349 million over the period.

As a result, VisitBritain said it was "more than likely" to surpass its ambition to attract 425,000 visits from India by 2016 - worth £380m in annual visitor spend.

The Indian travellers visiting Britain in their scores last year were not deterred by the falling value of the rupee against the pound, which closed below Rs 100-level for the first time in history in August 2013.

While 2012 saw visiting friends and family (VFR) overtaking holiday and business visits in volume, in 2013 VFR visits were down by 4% and visit growth from India was instead driven by 11% and 14% uplifts in holiday and business visits respectively. As a result, holiday visits reached their highest level for five years - 121,000 in the first three quarters of 2013 - and the amount spent on these visits hit a record amount of £62 million, 31% up from the same period last year and breaking 2008's pre-financial crisis record of £60 million.2

VisitBritain's annual India trade mission, taking place in Mumbai and New Delhi from Tuesday 28 January until Friday 31 January, is part of SATTE, India's largest Travel-Trade exhibition, giving mission attendees including Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum & Tour, Historic Royal Palaces, VisitManchester, St Paul's Cathedral and Westfield UK the opportunity to meet with over 10,000 agents from all over India to promote their destinations, tour packages and attractions, highlighting value-for-money deals and unique experiences.

Indian perceptions of Britain are very positive, as shown in the latest 2013 Anholt GfK Nation Brand Index. Respondents from India rated Britain third out of fifty countries for historic buildings, vibrant city life and contemporary culture, second for rich cultural heritage and fifth for natural beauty and sport.

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