Tourist visits to the UK reach all-time high

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Thinkstock/Matthew Dixon
Thinkstock/Matthew Dixon

Related tags: Tourism, Barack obama

Britain could be set for another bumper year of tourism after visitor numbers in February broke all previous records.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2.25m people visited the UK in February, spending £1.08bn – an eight per cent rise year-on-year.

The number of business trips to the country also rose 12 per cent to an all-time February high of 750,000.

It follows a record 35.8m visits made to the UK in 2015,​ six million more than in 2010.

Tourism Minister David Evennett said: "This record-breaking start to the year shows that our fantastic array of attractions remain hugely popular with visitors from all over the world. 

"There is so much to see and do across the whole of the UK and we are absolutely committed to encouraging tourists to see all the hidden gems we have to offer."

Britain could be set for another boost with The Queen’s 90th​ birthday, the arrival of US President Barack Obama, and the 400th​ anniversary of Shakespeare’s death all falling this month.

Interest from the East is continuing to buoy the sector, with the number of Chinese visitors rising 40 per cent in the first nine months​ of 2015 alone.

London has been named the most popular tourist destination in the world​ for the past two years running, with 18.8m visitors spending £13bn in the city in 2015.

Tourism is Britain's seventh largest export industry and is worth more than £26bn to the economy.

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