The number of foreign tourists visiting the UK between June and August dropped by 7% compared with the second quarter of 2007, official figures revealed today.
There were 7.8 million visits to the UK by overseas residents during the third quarter, while the associated spending decreased by 2% to £4b, the Office for National Statistics said.
The tourism deficit for the third quarter stood at £4.9b, with 17.2 million Brits making overseas trips.
VisitBritain - which this week demanded that the 10-year freeze on its funding is lifted - said the strength of the pound had made attracting tourists harder. August also saw particularly poor weather across the UK.
However, looking at the 12 months ending August 2007, visits by foreign tourists to the UK rose by 3%, from 31.7 million to 32.7 million.
Visits from Europeans increased 3% (to 23.5 million); North America increased by 1% (to 4.6 million) and visits from other parts of the world rose 5% (to 4.6 million).
In the same period, visits abroad by UK residents increased by 1%, from 68.6 million to 69.6 million.
By Daniel Thomas
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