Tourists returning to the UK

09 November 2005
Tourists returning to the UK

New VisitBritain figures show tourists have started to flock back to the UK.

Incoming tourists are also spending more, with a contribution of £10.7b towards the economy, which was 9% higher than 2004.

VisitBritian chief executive Tom Wright said: "This is further positive news for Britain's £74b visitor economy. We are on track to welcome 29.3 million international visitors by the end of this year, who will spend £13.9b while they are here."

But the marketing body warned there remain challenges to be met.

For example, in the first nine months of the year there was a 2% fall in visits from higher-spending North Americans.

This was blamed on low consumer confidence in the USA, increased competition from rival destinations and the effects of the 7 July bombings.

Overall, the biggest boom in overseas tourism was from the Rest of the World region, where numbers climbed by 18% to 4.9 million. Visitor numbers from Western Europe rose by 11% to 14.7 million.

By Tom Bill

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