UK restaurants regarded as 'most welcoming' by overseas visitors

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, London

21 per cent of overseas visitors rated restaurants as their number one when asked which British business was 'most welcoming'
21 per cent of overseas visitors rated restaurants as their number one when asked which British business was 'most welcoming'
Visitors from overseas regard the UK's restaurants as one of the 'most welcoming' types of businesses they can go to, according to new research by marketing agency VisitBritain. 

When asked where they felt 'most welcomed' on trips to the UK, 21 per cent of overseas visitors said restaurants while 13 per cent said pubs and bars. The two were just beaten to the top spot by tourist attractions, which were regarded as the first most welcoming type of business by 22 per cent of those questioned.

Although accommodation providers were mentioned by a larger percentage (31 per cent), as were shops (32 per cent), they were more likely to be mentioned in second or third place after tourist attractions and restaurants according to the research, which questioned 9,000 outbound visitors over three years. 

Overall, 80 per cent of visitors said they felt 'very welcome' following a stay in the UK and 25 per cent said they felt 'extremely welcome', statistics which VisitBritain said had improved towards the end of the three year period. 

Olympic legacy

Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain said she hoped the legacy left by the London 2012 Olympics would help see the figures rise even further in the near future.

“Enhancing the world’s perceptions of a British welcome will help us attract more visitors in the years ahead. The London 2012 Games were a great advertisement for Britain – with the volunteers and the warm of the welcome being picked up around the world," she said. 

“We want to make sure that we continue to be seen as a welcoming destination for our visitors so that they continue to want to come back and recommend us to their friends and family.”  


The research also found that 40 per cent of visitors would be 'extremely likely' to recommend visiting Britain for a holiday to their friends and families, a rise of 35 per cent from the recorded figure in 2010. 

Americans, Australians and Canadians were the nations who felt most welcomed according to the survey with 40 per cent of Americans, who were also the highest spenders, saying they felt 'extremely welcomed' during their visits. 

The Chinese were also positive about the welcome given by Brits while the number was less positive (5 per cent) from the more established Asian markets of Tokyo and Hong Kong and France, who ranked the lowest in terms of rating our welcome. 

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