New data shows travelers arriving in the United Kingdom spent £951 million (around $1.25 billion) last fiscal year as a result of tourism efforts.
According to the latest figures from VisitBritain/VisitEngland, the tourism agency attracted £11.5 million of investment from commercial partners and delivered £1.9 million profit from its online shop. The money earned is reinvested into activities to grow the value of tourism.
VisitBritain also revealed its inbound tourism forecast for 2020, with spending by overseas visitors predicted to reach a record £26.6 billion in 2020, a 6.6 percent increase from the £25 billion spent in 2019.
“The UK tourism industry is one of our great success stories and contributes billions to the UK economy each year. I’m delighted to see it growing from strength to strength,” UK Minister for Tourism Helen Whately said in a statement. “With so much to offer, exciting cultural and sporting events, outstanding historic sites and scenery and a great welcome for visitors, there’s a host of reasons why the UK continues to be one of the world’s top tourist destinations year-after-year.”
As for the total number of overseas visits to the UK, VisitBritain estimates 39.7 million people will arrive in 2020, a record-breaking forecast that would indicate a 2.9 percent increase from 2019.
The data also found inbound tourism to the UK has grown 33 percent and spending by 58 percent, and VisitBritain officials said they expect to grow inbound visitor spending to £35 billion with 49 million inbound visits by 2025.
“These figures are testament to Britain’s success in competing for international visitors and their spending,” British Tourist Authority Chairman Steve Ridgway said. “Inbound tourism today is the UK’s third-largest service export, an industry that needs no trade deals to thrive and that creates jobs and drives economic growth right across the country. We are already competing strongly and forecasting continued growth this year from our most valuable visitor source markets such as the USA and in markets that are crucial for our future including China.”
VisitBritain also found that national statistics show Brits have been taking more holidays at home, with almost 80 percent of all tourism activity and about £72 billion spent annually coming from domestic tourists in England.