UK restaurants voted ‘most welcoming’ by foreign tourists

Foreign tourists regard UK restaurants as one of the most welcoming businesses they visit during their time in the UK, according to a new survey.

Marketing agency VisitBritain sponsored a question on the Civil Aviation Authority's survey of nearly 9,000 departing overseas visitors to determine how welcome they felt in the UK.

The poll found that 80 per cent of visitors felt 'very welcome' following a stay in the UK, while a quarter revealed that they felt 'extremely welcome'.

Visitors have become increasingly positive about their time in the UK during the course of the three-year study, with officials hoping that the success of the Olympic Games will further improve people's perceptions of Britain and its hospitality industry.

When asked what businesses they felt most welcome in, 21 per cent of overseas visitors cited restaurants, while 13 per cent said pubs and bars.

Unsurprisingly, overseas visitors felt most welcome in tourist attractions, with 22 per cent of respondents praising the treatment they receive in these places of interest.

Although accommodation providers and shops were mentioned by a larger proportion of survey respondents, they were more likely to be mentioned as holidaymakers' second or third most welcoming UK business behind tourist attractions and restaurants.

Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, said:  "Enhancing the world's perceptions of a British welcome will help us attract more visitors in the years ahead. The London 2012 Games were a great advertisement for Britain – with the volunteers and the warmth of the welcome being picked up around the world.

"We want to make sure that we continue to be seen as a welcoming destination for our visitors so that they continue to want to come back and recommend us to their friends and family."

The research also found that tourists from English-speaking nations, such as the US, Australia and Canada, felt the most welcome in the UK. American tourists were also found to be the biggest spenders in the UK.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency in the catering industry