The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its provisional figures on overseas tourism and travel for 2013.
Some of the key findings, based on the provisional estimates, are listed below:
- Overseas residents made 32.9 million visits to the UK in 2013 – 6% more than in 2012. They spent £21b on these visits, an increase of 13%
- UK residents made 58 million visits abroad in 2013 – 3% more than in 2012. They spent £34.6b on these visits, an increase of 7%
- Visits from North America to the UK grew by 1%, while visits from other countries to the UK were up 10%. Business trips and holiday visits grew by 7%, and visits to friends or relatives grew 5%
- The number of visits to Europe and other countries by UK residents grew by 3%; visits to friends or relatives grew by 5%; holiday visits grew by 3%; but business visits fell by 3%
Alison Couper from Hotels.com comments on the findings: “The ONS figures reveal that more tourists are coming to the UK and spending more while they are here, providing a positive boost for the UK economy. The legacy of the Olympics coupled with 2013’s great British summer, with the sunshine, the Jubilee and the arrival of the royal baby, likely helped to drive an increase in holidays, which were up 7%.
“The UK is also seeing more visits from emerging markets and countries that recently joined the Eurozone, such as Latvia and Bulgaria. As travel becomes more accessible, independent travel has allowed people to globetrot more easily.
“Turning to the UK market, the rise in Brits going abroad this year is a reflection of the UK economy recovering. Holidays are one of the last items of discretionary spend that is forfeited in tough times and now with more disposable income, Brits are treating themselves to holidays abroad and spending more on international trips.”