Posted on: February 20, 2013
U.K. says inbound visitors set spending record in 2012
A year of major events, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, helped boost tourist spending in Britain to record levels.
This page is protected by Copyright laws. Do Not Copy. Purchase Reprint
Last year, the country experienced the highest inbound tourism spending in its history, with VisitBritain reporting that visitors spent more than $29 billion, a 4% rise over 2011. The average spending per visit was about $930.
"Inbound tourism has shown it can continue to deliver growth to the U.K. economy, and Britain has managed to avoid the threatened displacement in the year of the Games," VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe said in a statement.
VisitBritain said the North American market was a major driver of the increase, with 3.7 million North Americans visiting Britain in 2012, up 2% over 2011. Visitors from the U.S. alone jumped 3%, while 2.8 million Europeans visited.
European and North American arrivals were at their highest levels since 2008, but not a record.
VisitBritain recorded 2.4 million visits in December 2012, a 12% year-over-year increase, making it the best December in four years and producing record spending for the month — 15% more than the year before.
“Our tourism strategy was clearly to use the showcasing of the Games and turn the millions who watched coverage of Britain into visitors in the months and years ahead," Dawe said. "We have made an excellent start and will continue our work promoting Britain as a great place to visit to deliver further revenue and jobs in the U.K. through 2013.”