The national tourist agency, VisitBritain today announced an 11 per cent increase in holiday visits in the three months from March to May 2011.
During the period, overseas residents made 7.8m visits to the UK and spent just under £4bn, said the agency.
“These new figures show real signs of growth for British tourism,” said Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director of strategy and communications.
“Nearly 8m international tourists have come to Britain in the last three months which saw spending levels in the country rise by 7 per cent.”
More data from the International Passenger survey – a monitor of international tourism to the UK – found that visits from North Americans during the period increased by 15 per cent. This visitor group, said VisitBritain, makes up the highest inbound spenders.
The number of visits from EU15 countries (nations who were members of the European Union before the 2004 expansion) were up 6 per cent in the three months to May 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.
“Visits from European Accession countries are starting to show some signs of recovery, with a 5 per cent increase in the three months to May 2011 compared to the three months to May 2010,” said VisitBritain.
“Visits from remaining parts of the world (Central and South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia) were the highest seen in a May so far at 390,000. This reflects growth of over a fifth (22 per cent) in the three months to May 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.”