Britain on track for record £20b tourist spend for 2013

16 January 2014 by
Britain on track for record £20b tourist spend for 2013

Britain is on track for a record year of international tourist spending, even before counting the month of December, new data for the year 2013 from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show.

In figures released this morning for the months January to November 2013, tourist spend has already broken 2012's spend figure of £18.6b, reaching £19.3b by November 2013.

With the December spend of the past five years averaging at £1.3b, it is likely that Britain will break its previous record for the entire year, hitting over £20b for the full 12 months.

The single month of November saw an 11% increase in like-for-like spend compared to 2012, while spending for the entire January to November period is up 12% on the same months in 2012.

Visitors levels are also up: from Europe and North America there were 12.02m by November 2013, compared to 12.01m for the whole of 2011.

From the rest of the world, visits were also up to 4.68m compared to 4.74m in 2012.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain, said: "For 2013 to be the best year in inbound history, we'd need to see a record December for visits too, but it's a certainty we'll see record levels for spend.

"The first 11 months of 2013 have already seen the highest ever international spend in Britain. Visitors are clearly happy to spend their money across the whole of the country."

The figures from 2013 tally with VisitBritain's December prediction that 2014 will also be a record year.

The tourist spend for this year is estimated to reach £21.5b, with growth particularly coming from Malaysia, South Korea, China and Mexico.

2014 predicted to be a record-breaking year for tourism >>

Visitors to Britain spend record £11.2b in first seven months of 2013 >>

UK tourism could double to £257b by 2025, reports VisitBritain >>

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