The good news for the UK hospitality industry is that visitors from abroad have reached a record high. Office of National Statistics (ONS) Figures released earlier this month show that inbound tourism in July was the highest ever for inbound to the UK since official records began in 1961.
A Record July
The latest figures show:
- A record four million overseas visits to the UK during the period, the first month to ever break through the four million mark, and up 6% on the same period last year.
- A new record for the highest tourist spending in the UK – with overseas visitors spending £2.8bn here
- Strong growth in visits from North America continuing in July – with a record 650,000 visits, up 9% on last year.
John Glen, UK Tourism Minister, said: “Tourism is a major economic force that creates jobs and drives growth for the whole of the country. These record figures show the continued strength of this important sector and the UK’s global position as a must-visit destination.”
Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director, added that the best-ever monthly figures underpinned a strong first half of the year for inbound tourism.
She said: “This sustained growth demonstrates Britain’s continued ability to compete internationally for visitors and shows that tourism, one of our most valuable export industries, is an increasingly important driver of economic growth across our nations and regions.”
Not just a one-off
A look back at ONS figures for the last six months shows consistent growth, with:
- The total number of overseas visits to the UK from January to July this year totalling 23.1 million – up 8% on the same period last year and a record year–to-date.
- Spending by visitors during this period hitting a record £13.3bn, up 9% on the same period last year.
- 9 million overseas visits from North America from January to July – up 21% on the same period last year
- 1 million overseas visits from EU countries, the UK’s largest visitor-generating region – 4% up on last year.
- Visits from the rest of the world (which includes Australia, China, the Gulf markets and India) rising to a record 3.6 million from January to July this year – up 18% on the same period last year.
Last year set a record for inbound tourism to Britain on visits and spend with 37.6 million visits, up 4% on 2015 with visitors spending £22.5 billion, up 2%.
Don’t miss out on these opportunities
Do you need hospitality finance to take advantage of these trends? Maybe you are considering a start up and require a mortgage to purchase hotel, b&b or self catering accommodation. Or, perhaps you are looking to expand your existing hospitality business or convert your residential accommodation to commercial.
Whether you are looking for a hotel mortgage, b&b mortgage or other finance across the hospitality sector, Stewart Hindley and Partners are here to help. We understand the hospitality business through and through, which means we can offer you friendly and informative advice to suit your particular needs and circumstances