While London and Edinburgh maintained their position as the number one and two UK tourist destinations, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Windsor all enjoyed more international visits.
“The 2012 Games will see sporting battles take place across Britain, offering a fantastic showcase for the diversity and wonderful experiences that can be found in every area,” said Patricia Yates, strategy and communications director for VisitBritain.
“It is clear that next year presents us with some real opportunities to showcase Britain to new audiences around the world. Our GREAT campaign will be launching in key global cities, raising the aspiration to travel to Britain and backed up by GREAT offers from our commercial partners to encourage visitors to come now.”
Host city London, home to the Olympic park and the largest shopping centre in Europe at Westfield Stratford City, has 14.7 million overseas visits, while Edinburgh had 1.3 million.
Yesterday, BigHospitality spoke to Jonathan Raggett, managing director of Red Carnation Hotels. Raggett, who has six properties in London and one in Dorset, warned hoteliers that next year might not have the financial implications many predict.
In contrast, Tiger Tiger operator Novus Leisure stated earlier in the year that the Olympics can ‘be another Christmas’, while the British Hospitality Association hit back at 2012 Olympics detractors, insisting the Games will provide a long-lasting legacy to the hospitality industry.
Aside from the Olympic destinations, the figures saw Bath climb up seven spots to become the eleventh most stayed in town, while Southampton entered the top 20 for the first time. Over 300 towns have had at least 10,000 overseas visits since 2007.
The top 20 locations in the UK for stays by inbound visitors in 2010 were:
- Brighton & Hove