UK Tourism: Record visits and spending from the USA

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Latest figures from VisitBritain, Britain’s national tourism agency, show there were a record number of visits from the US to the UK during the first nine months of 2019.

The statistics also show that the first nine months of 2019 were a record-breaker for the amount that US visitors spent in the UK.

There were a record 3.5 million visits from the US from January to September 2019, up 13% on the same period in 2018. Visitors from the US spent a record £3.4 billion in the UK from January to September 2019, up 23%.

VisitBritain Executive President, The Americas Gavin Landry said:

“We have seen consistently strong results in visits from the US and in visitor spending throughout 2019 with the double-digit growth demonstrating how much Americans enjoy exploring all that Britain has to offer. We are thrilled to see numbers that demonstrate Britain’s continued ability to compete internationally for visitors. 

“VisitBritain will continue to build on this growth, converting the inspiration into bookings, and encouraging Americans to explore not only the iconic sites but also the unexpected experiences. With Britain’s accommodation and visitor attractions offering good value, and more direct airline routes from the US, it really is a great time to book a trip this year.” 

VisitBritain boosts awareness of Britain as a visitor destination in the US through its ‘Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…’ campaign, aligning the passions that motivate Americans to travel with experiences unique to Britain. The campaign highlights less-explored destinations, together with its renowned landmarks and attractions, to inspire visitors to look beyond the expected.

Since May 2019, US citizens have been able to use ePassport gates, giving easier and faster entry into the UK.

The latest data shows that forward flight bookings for arrivals from the US to the UK from February to July 2020 are tracking up 10% when compared to the same period in 2019.

The US is now the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound tourism market. Tourism is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.