It’s not quite peak holiday season yet, but things are already looking up for British tourism after overseas visitor records were smashed in May. And it looks like many more will be arriving soon for a slice of our British summer with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and special events on the calendar.
Statistics unveiled by the International Passenger Survey showed that were more overseas visits to Britain in May 2014 – 3.2 million – than in any other May period.
This was a 4 per cent rise from the same time in 2013, with a massive 1.4 million of these visits coming from holidaymakers.
The figures show an impressive year for British tourism – four out of five months have seen record holidaymakers.
In fact, Britain has now seen 13.23 million visitors this year – a new record and 7 per cent more than in 2013.
Tourism – and timeshare ownership, as part of the big picture – is a big earner for Britain, and we’ve also seen a very recent “staycation” trend – no doubt partially boosted by the passport office backlog.
Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, said: “To have four months out of five reaching new records for holiday visits is a great achievement – and that’s even before we hit the seasonal summer months.
“These results highlight Britain’s strength as a year-round destination. If the rest of the year continues like this, 2014 is set to be another excellent year for inbound tourism to Britain.”
Minister for Tourism Helen Grant added: “It’s great news that visitor numbers in the twelve months to May are at a record high and spend for that period is up by 8 per cent to over £20 billion.
“We still have some fantastic big events that will attract overseas visitors in the coming months such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.
“The Government is completely committed to doing all we can to help the tourism industry. Today we are hosting the first meeting of the Tourism Council to help further boost jobs and growth in this dynamic sector.”