Inbound tourism performance
Unmatched visitor levels. Uplift across trip types and inbound visitor spend. 2015 saw Britain’s inbound tourism industry thrive.
Welcoming a wealth of worldwide visitors
A major player for Britain’s economy, the tourism sector is worth £126.9 billion with overseas visitor spending reaching £22.1 billion in 2015. What’s more, tourism is responsible for 9% of the UK’s GDP, making it a powerful force in boosting the strength of the UK’s economy.
A bumper year for international visits to our shores, 2015 has set new tourism records and surpassed benchmark figures. Britain saw 36.1 million overseas visitors holiday here in 2015, a rise of 5% on 2014, with an increase across all major journey purposes.
There has been strong growth in overseas visitor numbers in 2016. From January to July, UK visits have experienced a record-breaking seven months, with trips up 2% compared to last year, to 21.1 million whilst visitor spending reached £11.7 billion.
Supports 200,000 SMEs across the country, covering retail, tour operators, airlines and attractions
Inbound travel contributes £29.8 billion towards the UK economy
Is responsible for 9.6% of all UK jobs
Is a growing sector – by 2025, there will be an estimated 3.7 million tourism jobs
Creates jobs in areas where there are few alternatives for employment – in Cornwall, for example, 13% of jobs are in tourism
Creates jobs for those who need it most. In the tourism industry, 28% of those employed are 16-24, as opposed to wider industries, in which only 12% are in the same age bracket
Delivering for the nations and regions of Britain
2015’s inbound visitors came from a range of markets, with visits from France and the USA topping the charts. A record number of visitors came from long haul destinations this year including India, Brazil and the UAE, while the UK has experienced a 46% increase in visitors from China since 2014.
Spending by international tourists outside London also rose, with an overall increase of 4% to £7.5 billion. On a national level, Wales saw a 12% rise in spending and a 4% rise in visitors. Scotland also saw strong growth from 2014 with key markets including France, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and China all seeing a boost in overseas visitor numbers. And in 2016 so far, Scotland has experienced a 27% increase in overseas visits in Q1 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
In 2015 more international visitors were eager to explore outside of London, choosing to visit a range of English regions. Trips to the English regions were up 7% to 15.2 million.