UK pubs benefit from more than £40m in international visitor spend

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house, British beer and pub association

International visitors may have contributed at least £40m to UK pubs last year, according to VisitBritain
International visitors may have contributed at least £40m to UK pubs last year, according to VisitBritain
UK pubs are estimated to have benefited from the 13.8m international visitors who visited a pub in 2011 to the tune of more than £40m, according to new figures released by the national tourism agency VisitBritain.

The statistics reveal nearly half (45 per cent) of the inbound visitors to the UK last year paid a visit to a pub or bar during their trip.

According to a calculation made by VisitBritain using figures from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), if each of those tourists bought just one pint the international guests would contribute at least £40m to the industry.

In a separate study, departing tourists were asked about the warmth of the welcome from the UK. 42 per cent of all those asked said restaurants were among places that had made them feel most welcome, 39 per cent mentioned pubs and bars when describing places as most welcoming.

Of the 39 per cent, a massive amount (90 per cent) said they were 'extremely' or 'very' likely to recommend Britain as a holiday destination.

Hidden treasure

Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, said pubs were a vital part in helping improve the perception of the nation as a destination for international visitors.

"The great British pub is our welcome mat to the world. Visitors can chat with locals, get a flavour for the area and discover all the hidden treasures which aren't necessarily found on a planned itinerary. That's not to mention the wonderful array of local food, beer and wine that they can try while here."

"Our pubs play a huge role in enhancing the overall visitor experience and will go a long way in helping us improve global perceptions of the British welcome," she added.

Australians and students

Of the inbound visitors last year, 50 per cent of tourists paid a visit to a boozer, 54 per cent of guests visiting friends or families paid a trip to the local and 55 per cent of international students headed to a pub or bar during their stay.

According to the survey Antipodean visitors are most likely to visit the pub with three quarters of visitors from Australia and New Zealand heading to the bar compared with 60 per cent of those from Canada and the USA and just a fifth of tourists from China and Japan.

Two-thirds of Swedish visitors pay a trip to a pub making them the most likely European visitors to head to the local followed by the Icelandic and the Irish. In comparison less than half of French and Belgian visitors make use of the hospitality offered by the UK bar industry. 

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