UK rode tourist wave in 2012

The UK’s national tourism agency has released figures indicating that inbound tourism experienced a boom during 2012.

The tourism increase that the UK has benefited from in recent years continued into last year, as the nation’s popularity with foreign tourists showed no sign of abating. The Olympic affect was much in evidence, with London being the main beneficiary of its staging of the games. 15.5 million visitors passed through the city in a year when it also staged the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This accounted for 50 percent of all visits to the UK, confirming London’s draw as a major global attraction.

Scotland also proved popular with overseas visitors, with Edinburgh coming second only to London for visits with a total of 1.3 million. Glasgow’s visitor figure grew by nearly 10 percent on the previous year to register a total of 521,000 visits.

Of the other English cities, Manchester led the way by attracting 932,000 visitors, Birmingham was not far behind with its total of 713,000, and Liverpool also saw an increase to 550,000. Meanwhile, Wales also enjoyed the knock-on effect of a boom year, with Cardiff predictably its best performer as it received 41,000 more visits than it did in 2010, for a total of 301,000.

Hugh Robertson, minister for tourism, commented, ‘We showcased the very best of Britain last year encouraging overseas visitors to come and see for themselves what our great country has to offer. I am encouraged that destinations across Britain have seen visitor numbers rise and we will do all we can to keep up that momentum.

‘Tourism spend is up and I am confident that the industry can continue to grow and increase its contribution to the economy further.’