Britain welcomes a tourist every second in June
London Games and weak sterling give UK tourism a big boost this summer
BRITAIN welcomed more than one visitor every single second in June, an increase in tourism widely attributed to the afterglow of the London 2012 Olympics.
Nearly 2.9m visitors travelled to Britain in June, a 12 per cent increase on the previous year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The June figures pushed the number of visitors in the first six months of this year to 15.2m, the strongest figure since before the global financial crisis in 2008.
Visitor numbers for June compare favourably with the same month last year when numbers fell just before the start of the Olympics. The boost to the UK economy is significant. According to the ONS, tourists are now spending more during their stay. In June, overseas visitors spent £1.84 billion, taking the total for the first half of the year to a record £8.7 billion.
"This is great news for the economy and a further sign that tourism is delivering growth across the economy," said Keith Beecham, overseas director at VisitBritain.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the success of the London Games helped enhance Britain’s reputation as a tourist destination, while the weak pound has added considerably to the UK's appeal.
During the first half of the year, there was particularly strong growth in the number of visitors from Asia and Central and Latin America. Visitor numbers from China grew 24 per cent between January and June, while City AM reports that 11 per cent more travellers came to Britain from continental Europe and other countries during the period.
Figures show that more Britons are choosing to stay put. While visitor numbers continue to rise, the number of Britons heading abroad fell by two per cent in June compared to the same month last year. ·