16.8m people visited the UK between January and June, a five per cent increase on the same period in 2014 and a record for UK tourism.
Tourism figures in June hit 3.23m visitors, matching June 2014’s record.
The North American market increased by 15 per cent during June compared to 2015, while the number of visits from this market was four per cent higher than the same time-period last year.
Spending in this period, VisitBritain says, reflects on exchange rate shifts with a focus on the strong Sterling to Euro conversion. Overseas visitors spent £2.1b while in the UK during June, a one per cent drop from June 2014’s record amount. Spending over the period was in line with 2014’s figures.
EU15 countries made up 58 per cent of the number of overseas visits with 9.8m, a three per cent increase on 2014, setting a new record.
Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director of strategy and communications, said: “Tourism continues to be one of Britain’s most successful industries, where we are competing in an environment of shifting exchange rates.
“It is also positive to see continued return to growth from North America market, our most valuable market, and business visitors.”