LONDON, England – Britain received a record 35.8 million visits by tourists last year – up 20 percent on just five years ago.
Official Government figures show that 2015 set a new record for inbound tourism to the UK – up four per cent up on 2014 and the sixth consecutive year of growth.
The statistics show there were six million more visits in 2015 than 2010, an increase of 20 percent.
Visitors spent £21.8 billion in the UK last year, in line with 2014’s record breaking figure.
Visitors from the USA were the UK’s most valuable tourism source market.
A record number of holiday visits to the UK was recorded (13.7 million visits), one percent up on 2014, as well as those visiting friends and relatives (10.5 million), up seven percent on 2014. Visits for business (8.7 million) increased six percent on 2014.
Tourism Minister David Evennett said: “Tourism is one of the UK’s fastest growing industries, and attracting more international visitors to our shores is not only important for the sector but for the nation’s whole economy.
“These record figures show how our incredible mixture of stunning countryside, world-class sport, historic buildings and thriving cities continue to be a major draw for tourists.”
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: “This growth is really fantastic news for the UK economy and shows we’re on track to realise our ambition to grow international visits by more than 20 percent to 42 million by 2020, which could see an additional £4.5 billion in visitor spend, as well as driving tourism across all our nations and region so its benefits are felt across the whole of Britain.”
In spite of the strength of the Pound, spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach almost £23bn in 2016.
Tourism is Britain’s seventh largest export industry and third largest service sector. Inbound tourism is calculated to be worth more than £26 billion to the UK economy.