This holiday, UK anticipates greater number of international visitors

Published on : Monday, January 7, 2019

Between December 23, 2018, and January 5, 2019, forward flight bookings to the U.K. in general are experiencing a rise of 9 percent, compared to the same period last year.


Forward bookings to the U.K. from China, the Middle East and the United States are predominantly quite strong with all witnessing double-digit growth, up 44 percent, 59 percent and 27 percent respectively.


The rise in bookings from some of the most valuable long-haul visitor markets of the U.K. echoes a longer-term trend.


During Christmas and into the New Year, the U.K. is anticipating an increase in overseas visitors.


For December 2018 to May 2019, forward bookings from the U.S. to the U.K. have increased 27 percent compared to the same time previously. For tourism spend, the U.S. is the U.K.’s most valuable inbound visitor market. In 2017, visitors from the US spent a record £3.6 billion across the UK up 9 percent on the previous year. Visits from the U.S. increased by 13 percent to 3.9 million in 2017, the highest since 2000.


Also, longer-term bookings are tracking ahead from the Middle East to the UK, up 10% for December 2018 to May 2019. Visitors from the Middle East are considered as some of the highest spenders in UK. Visitors from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries spent £2733 on average in the U.K. last year, more than four times the all market average of £625.


“Tourism is one of the U.K.’s most valuable export industries and needs no trade deals to attract overseas investment,” said VisitBritain director Patricia Yates. “It is also a fiercely competitive global industry and people have a lot of choice. We want the UK to be the number one destination for global travelers so it is great to see forward bookings looking strong in the coming weeks and months from some of our most valuable long-haul visitor markets.”


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