Record overseas visitors to the UK in August

A record 3.8 million visits were made to the UK from overseas tourists in August to give the national economy a multi-billion pounds boost, new figures reveal.

A total of £2.6bn was spent by overseas tourists in August 2016 as a record number of visits were made to the UK. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

At the height of the British summer the number of visits recorded this year was two per cent higher than in August 2015. That success means £2.6bn was spent by overseas visitors, four per cent more than the same month a year ago.

Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch hailed 2016 as “an incredible year for British tourism” which underlined the UK’s status as one of the top visitor destinations in the world.

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“We continue to attract a record number of tourists from across the globe, which is not only great news for the sector, but the whole economy,” she said.

August saw particulary strong growth in North American visitors who accounted for 510,000 visits, 13 per cent up year-on-year.

The Office for National Statistics figures also show a record-breaking first eight months of the year for visits from EU countries, the UK’s largest visit-generating region, with 16.8 million visits, three per cent up on last year.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “These back-to-back record-breaking figures not only underpin a longer-term pattern of growth for inbound tourism, one of our fastest growing export industries, but also demonstrate its growing importance to the UK economy.

Earlier this month, VisitBritain and Expedia launched a multi-million pound three-year partnership to market Britain abroad to France, Germany and the US.