Overseas tourists head to Britain in record numbers

Updated 2017-11-18 00:02:10 Xinhua

August was the highest month ever for overseas visitor spending in Britain, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed Friday.

ONS said tourists from overseas spent 3.7 billion U.S. dollars during the month, up 3 percent on the same month last year, adding it was also a record August for inbound visitors, with 3.9 million visits, up 5 percent on the same month in 2016.

There was a strong growth in August in visits from EU countries, Britain's largest visit-generating region, with 2.4 million visits, up 6 percent.

The latest market specific figures, for the first six months of 2017, showed strong growth from China, the world's most valuable outbound market.

Between January and June 2017, there were 115,000 inbound visits from China to Britain, up 47 percent on last year. Visitors from China spent a record 305 million U.S. dollars during this period, up 54 percent, said the official tourism agency, Visit Britain.

Friday's figures, from the Office for National Statistics, bring the total number of overseas visits to Britain from January to August to 27.1 million, up 8 percent on 2016. Spending by visitors during this period reached a record 22 billion U.S. dollars, up 10 percent on last year.

VisitBritain forecasts that inbound visits will reach 39.7 million by the end of this year, with overseas visitors spending 34 billion U.S. dollars.

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