The research, which was independently commissioned for Barclays’ Retail and Hospitality & Leisure banking teams, predicts that this rapid growth in spend among tourists will also be strengthened by a loosening in visa restrictions.
Currently tourists that visit from the United States spend the most in the UK, followed by France and Germany. This will likely stay the same through to 2017 but other emerging economies such as China, Russia and the UAE are also set to have a big impact due to the increasing wealth of consumers living there and their expanding middle-classes.
Both Russia and the UAE are expected to make the top ten list of nationalities that visit the UK by 2017 and tourists from China will likely spend more than £1 billion here in 2017, which is an 84 per cent rise from what they spent here in 2013.
Opportunities for the hospitality industry
This expected rise in visitor numbers from foreign countries means that spending on hotels, restaurants and other attractions will rise by 33 per cent up to more than £14bn in 2017. Tourists from overseas are predicted to spend £5.3bn on eating out and £7.3bn on hotel accommodation in 2017.
Barclays’ head of Hospitality and Leisure Mike Saul said: “Opportunities abound for both retailers and the leisure industry to capitalise on these growing tourist numbers and spend.
“Businesses putting in the time and effort to understand their client demographic and to talk to their audience through whatever channels they use, be it social media or more traditional, will carve out an advantage that will enable them to offer something more tailored for each nationality that visits our shores.”
Chief executive of VisitEngland James Berresford said: “The figures set out in this new report from Barclays are consistent with the figures released by Deloittes also quite recently. The growth of the international market is of course very important for England’s visitor economy, however we must be careful to ensure that the whole country and not just the capital will benefit. We shall be tackling this issue at a VisitEngland conference in June as part of the International Festival of Business in Liverpool.”