More and more visits being made to UK, stats show

There were more visits to England's capital from overseas last year than in any other year for several decades, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

The 16.8m overseas visitors hitting London was a higher number than in any year since 1961, it has revealed. These visitors were responsible for £11,256 million worth of spending – against £5,867 million ten years earlier.

This hike is in large part down to a rise in people from other countries going to the capital for holidays over this timeframe, the ONS says.

In 2013, half of those visiting the UK went to London – and it seems there is a rising trend for this, with the percentage of people from overseas coming to the UK who go to the capital going up during the past decade.

Business trips to London from overseas visitors have gone up by 18.5 per cent during the past decade, holiday visits have gone up by a massive 71.9 per cent and trips to see family and friends have seen a 34.8 per cent hike.

Overall UK visits were also at the highest seen since 1961 last year, and 5.6 per cent up year-on-year. Some 32,813,000 visits were made to the country in 2013.

About two in three people heading to the UK from outside Europe – and the same proportion of people visiting from North America – made London a part of their UK visit last year, compared to about half of visitors from the continent.

When it comes to Brits making trips within their own country, VisitEngland recently revealed survey data suggesting that seven per cent of adults in Britain had plans to go on a UK overnight break during the Easter weekend just gone. 

The organisation predicted that this could generate around £800 million of tourist spending.

Berkeley Scott is a leading London hotel recruitment agency.