National tourist board VisitEngland said the warm weather and an extra bank holiday had a positive impact on domestic tourism, with overnight trips in England up 8 per cent on April the previous year and tourism spend up 14 per cent.
Business tourism, which may have been expected to fall back given the extra bank holiday, also rose by 6 per cent in April which means that year to date business tourism figures are now up 3 per cent (January - April) compared to the same period last year.
In contrast, trips to visit friends and relatives in April were 10 per cent lower than in April last year, indicating that the hospitality industry was the main benefactor of trips away from home.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive said: "April showed us that Brits do indeed love their bank holidays and the double bank holiday certainly helped to give domestic tourism in England a healthy boost. We know that accommodation operators are confident of a good summer and with the trend to holiday at home clearly strong, tourism in England looks promising this year.”
Despite a positive start to this summer, hotel and B&B owners around the UK have reported signs of consumers saving money.
In a VisitEngland survey published last week that quizzed 500 accommodation owners and managers, the majority said they were quite satisfied with trade from May to July, but 40 per cent said they'd noticed visitors were spending less this year.
"The year has started well and confidence is strong for the summer - however, we know that the general public are increasingly worried about their finances and this will inevitably have an effect on the overall success of the sector this year," said Berresford.