British tourism continues to boom in July

In its July Overseas Travel and Tourism report, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has highlighted a continuing upward trend for Britain’s incoming tourism during the month.

The report noted that for the period January to July 2013, the number of visits to the UK by overseas residents is four percent higher than it was for the same period a year earlier. Visits to the UK for holidays have shown a particularly healthy increase, and a continued rise in July contributed to an overall 12 percent increase for the three months from May to July 2013, compared with the same period of the previous year. July was a record month for visitor spend, with its £2.52 billion figure beating the previous record month of August 2012 by £900 million.

The net result of the increased throughput of foreign visitors is that earnings from the sector have also increased and are up by 10 percent for the 12 months to July 2013, compared to the 12 months to July 2012.

Meanwhile, the figures also revealed a preference for locations closer to home for British travellers going overseas, with visits to Europe up by three percent for 2013, while visits to North America and Other Countries were down by nine percent and one percent respectively.

The ONS collects the data for the International Passenger Survey from face to face interviews with passengers passing through ports and on routes into and out of the UK. It conducts between 700,000 and 800,000 interviews a year, of which over 250,000 are used to produce estimates of Overseas Travel and Tourism patterns.