Inbound tourist numbers rise 23%

The number of holiday visitors to the UK from abroad in March 2017 rose by 23% year on year, according to the British Hospitality Association’s Travel Monitor.

The increase was driven by 43% growth in passengers from North America, while passenger growth from Europe was more subdued, rising by 4%, and spending by overseas visitors increased 14% year on year.

Year to date, the analysis from the BHA Travel Monitor shows the total number of visitors to the UK was up 6.9% with business visitors, down -1.4% year on year.

The latest BHA Quarterly Inbound Travel Analysis for the past three months of 2016 has also been released and shows that inbound holiday passengers spent an estimated £130m (1.5%) more in the UK in 2016 than in 2015, while business passengers spent an estimated £50m (0.9%) more.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “Trading in March has been very encouraging and the low rate of sterling presents a great opportunity for our industry to welcome an increasing number of foreign visitors. However, we cannot and should not rely on fluctuating rates in the long term.”

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