Tourist spend at its highest ever one year on from the Olympics

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tourism

Record-breakers: VisitBritain's Patricia Yates says 'there is no clearer sign of the Olympic legacy'
Record-breakers: VisitBritain's Patricia Yates says 'there is no clearer sign of the Olympic legacy'
Hospitality businesses across the UK will welcome the news that the nation’s tourism industry is booming, with the number of international visitors and the amount they are spending at an all-time high.

New figures from the 2013 International Passenger Survey revealed a record-breaking 1.53 million holiday visits recorded in July, contributing to a 23 per cent boost in tourist spending.

Britain welcomed a total of 3.26 million overseas visits over the month, spending £2.52bn. This beats the previous monthly record of £2.43 billion, set in August last year.

Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at national tourism board VisitBritain, says the record-breaking levels can be put down to the post-Olympic 'bounce'. 

"There is no clearer sign of the Olympic legacy than these hugely positive spend and visitor figures,” said Yates. “This is now the third consecutive month we have seen record-breaking levels of holiday visits and overall spend - a fantastic achievement for inbound tourism, which continues to prove it is one of the UK’s key export growth markets.

“Our overall vision is to inspire the world to explore Britain, so I am particularly pleased to see we are continuing to make excellent progress with our ‘Rest of World’ markets.”

Economic recovery

Those ‘Rest of World’ markets - outside Europe or North America - continued to break records, with visits up 9 per cent in July and 11 per cent over the first seven months of the year.

For the first time these markets have generated more than five million visits over a rolling 12-month period.

Significantly, July also saw the first positive growth – 2 per cent more visits than in July 2012 - in four months in terms of visits from North America, the market with highest total spend.

Minister for Tourism, Hugh Robertson, said: “Tourism in Britain has never been stronger and the industry is making a big contribution to the economic recovery. Following the success of last year, with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, more people are coming to Britain, spending more money and enjoying all the great things this country has to offer.”

Last week, BigHospitality reported that hospitality business should now be preparing for an increase in tourists from Australia over the next year as VisitBritain has partnered with Virgin Atlantic and London & Partners to entice more Australians to visit Britain. Read more about that here.

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