UK economy bolstered by record spending from overseas tourists in 2014

26th January 2015

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Analysis from national tourism agency VisitBritain shows that more international tourists are travelling across the UK than ever before with spending hitting new record.

The new figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the first nine months of 2014 overseas tourist spending reached new records in Wales, at £303m, Scotland with £1.5bn and London at £8.9bn.

In addition international tourist spending in the East of England hit £693m, while the North West enjoyed a total of £849m and the South East an even higher £1.7bn.

Compared to the same period in 2013, from January to September 2014 overseas visits grew at a faster rate in Wales, which is up 14%, Scotland, at 12% and Yorkshire also at 12%, which reached a new record of 1.08m, while London saw a 6% hike.

Commenting on the figures, Tourism Minister Helen Grant said: “Britain has so much to offer tourists and it’s fantastic that more of them are exploring the country and helping to drive growth outside of London. I want overseas visitors to experience the very best of Britain and with a record £22bn expected to be spent this year the tourism sector is well placed to keep up this momentum, as part of the Government’s long-term economic plan.”

Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director of strategy and communications, added: “Inbound tourism is an export industry at which Britain is demonstrably successful, with further growth predicted this year. VisitBritain will continue to focus on the rebalancing of this growing industry in 2015 to benefit the whole country.”

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