Foreigners show abroad outlook as number of visitors to UK rises

Britain welcomed an increased number of overseas tourists during the mid-autumn period this year, new figures show.

And UK residents made more trips overseas, the October travel figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.

Foreign residents made 2.71 million trips to the UK in October compared with fewer than 2.52 million in the same month last year. During October 2010 they spent more than 1.60bn – well up on the 1.38bn figure for October 2009. The latest monthly figures mean that the number of trips made to the UK by overseas residents for the first 10 months of this year has reached 25.19 million – only one per cent down on the January-October 2009 total.

Spending so far this year by foreign residents during UK trips has totalled 14.18bn – about the same as in the first 10 months of last year.

The new figures also show that UK residents made 5.13 million trips overseas in October 2010 compared with five million in October 2009.

Visits to North America, where the US dollar has weakened against the pound of late, rose from 342,000 in October 2009 to 390,000 in October 2010.

UK residents have made 48.73 million trips overseas this year – six per cent down on the January-October 2009 figure.

UK residents' spending while abroad rose from 2.57bn in October 2009 to 2.73bn in October 2010.