The International Passenger Survey (IPS) also revealed that the overall visitor arrival trend for 2011 remains relatively buoyant and is on track to exceed 2010 figures.
“Today’s figures are an encouraging sign for Britain’s tourism sector, which can continue to grow over the next few years and which will be strengthened by the image boost that hosting next year’s Games will bring,” said Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain.
“The £27 million announced earlier this week is a welcome injection of extra funding and great news for tourism. It means we will be able to compete even more strongly on the world.”
Growth throughout the year
The latest data for inbound tourism has been bolstered by growth throughout the year, despite relatively flat arrival figures during the peak months of July and August.
There was a modest one per cent rise in arrivals in September, driven by record growth in holiday trips (up 5 per cent) and a considerable increase in arrivals from North America (up 22 per cent). These factors have helped total visits for the year so far to rise three per cent on 2010 levels.
Visitor spending for the month was up seven per cent on the low of September 2010, with £1.5 billion coming in to the UK economy from overseas. Overall spend per visit is up four per cent from the 2010 and has resulted in record earnings across Britain of £13.2 bn so far in 2011.
Tourism is the fifth largest industry in the UK and is Britain’s third largest earner of foreign exchange. VisitBritain believes tourism ‘has the potential to be one of the five fastest growing sectors of the UK economy in the years ahead, creating new jobs and economic growth’.