New figures by the Office of National Statistics have revealed that tourists spent record-breaking levels amounts of money in the first 11 months of 2013.
Foreign tourists managed to spend £19.3 billion in the UK over the period; this is not only a 12 per cent rise from the same 11 months in 2012 but it is four per cent higher than any previous full calendar year. It has been estimated that if it emerges that spend hit the £700 million mark in December, the full amount brought in by tourists in 2013 could pass £20 billion.
Organisation VisitBritian has been quick to state that its GREAT campaign, now in its third year, has played a part in these figures. The scheme looks at boosting Britain as a tourist destination and the government announced in December that it was pledging an extra £90 million to the campaign over the next 24 months.
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. These visitors are clearly happy to spend their money across the whole of the country and VisitBritain’s partner marketing activity has enabled them to do this by offering good-value deals – inspiring travel to Britain in record numbers."
VisitBritain has now estimated that visitor spend will hit £21.5 billion in 2014, and this should hopefully be reflected in the number of new hospitality jobs generated.
The data also revealed that visits were also on the up in 2013, with 12.02 million making the trip, compared to the 12.01 record who did so in 2011. In total, visits to the UK had increased by five per cent, with 30.2 million trips having been made due to family, business and leisure reasons.
Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.