As the year draws to an end, figures are showing that Britain is on track to record its best ever year for inbound tourism.
It’s probably fair to say most overseas visitors book a British holiday for the cultural sights and shopping – rather than the weather – but the Office for National Statistics reveas that cash spent in 2013 so far has hit record levels.
Tourist “pounds” for 2013 stand at 11 per cent above the first eight months of 2012; this period includes the excellent summer weather Britain basked in during the second half of this year.
The stats show that between January and August 2013, overseas visitors spent £13.7 billion in the UK while the yearly total is at a new high, too, with £20 billion spent by visitors to the UK over the last 12 months.
Overseas timeshare owners tend to come to Britain for golf, shopping, extended city breaks and resort escapes, but interestingly, a surprisingly high number of British timeshare owners own a week “at home” – something that may come as a surprise to those of us who’d rather head to the Med given a chance to get away.
Hilton Grand Vacations opened its first ultra-luxury, exclusively ‘timeshare only’ resort in Scotland earlier this year. Located at Craigendarroch, Deeside, the resort was previously a Hilton hotel and after an impressive £4 million-plus refurbishment, the property now comprises 32 timeshare holiday suites in a stunning resort setting.
CLC World Resorts & Hotels also owns a resort in Scotland (Duchally Country Estate near Gleneagles) as well as two resorts down in Cornwall: Hustyns Hotel and Trenython Manor Hotel & Spa.
Holiday bookings to Britain from abroad have also reached new peaks, with holiday trips breaking monthly records for the fourth consecutive month, and the UK welcoming more inbound holiday visits in August (up 19 per cent) than any previous month.
In addition, the first eight months of 2013 have seen more holiday visits to the UK than the same period in any previous year, seven per cent more than the first eight months of 2012.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain said: “More people than ever from around the world are choosing to holiday in Britain. With record numbers coming from the high spending markets of Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
“This all adds up to a new milestone of spend over a 12 month period of £20 billion, which proves the massive contribution that inbound tourism makes to the UK economy.”