It shows spending by inbound visitors is predicted to grow faster than visitor volume, with higher spending also per trip.
Its overall forecast is for spending by international visitors in the UK of £29.5 billion in 2023, up 4% on the all-time spending high of £28.4 billion in 2019. Looking at the number of visits to the UK, 35.1 million visits are forecast, 86% of the 40.9 million in 2019.
UK Tourism Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“It is fantastic to see that tourism is continuing to bounce back strongly after the sector received substantial government support during the pandemic.
“This predicted rise in visitor spending will give a further boost to the industry, helping to create new jobs and drive economic growth across the country.”
VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said:
“Our priority has been to rebuild international visitor value so it is very encouraging to see the continued strong recovery forecast in spend, supporting jobs, small businesses and local economies right across the country.
“Tourism is also an extremely competitive global industry. We’ll be out with a new campaign early next year competing hard in markets where we’re seeing strong growth. This includes the USA, our most valuable inbound market with spending up 15% so far this year, as well as the Gulf and our major European markets.”
VisitBritain is set to launch a new GREAT Britain marketing campaign across Europe, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries and the USA in early 2023 to drive bookings, inspiring visitors to ‘See Things Differently,’ promoting messages of warm welcome and highlighting Britain as a dynamic, adventurous and inclusive destination.
The campaign will also capture major events in 2023 including the Coronation of King Charles III in May, with an additional Bank Holiday announced, and Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, on behalf of Ukraine, also in May, timely and valuable opportunities to promote Britain’s welcome and creativity and ability to host events of the highest calibre.
VisitBritain’s research earlier in 2022 showed that exploring Britain’s history and heritage is the top motivator for international travellers keen to visit this year, followed by visiting its vibrant towns and cities.
Its research has also showed that the biggest drivers for visitors globally in choosing a destination are that it offers ‘good value for money’ and is a ‘welcoming place to visit.’ More than half of people VisitBritain surveyed who were keen to travel had also not made up their minds where to go, valuable opportunities to influence destination choice and drive bookings.
VisitBritain has also upgraded its end of year forecast for 2022 to 29.7 million inbound visits to the UK, 73% of 2019, and spending of £25.9 billion, 91% of 2019. This follows an increase in overseas visitor spending in the UK this year with higher spend per visit and longer stays, based on the latest data.
Inbound tourism was worth more than £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019, its third largest service export and a major part of British trade.
Notes to editors:
- For more information on VisitBritain’s inbound tourism forecast for 2023 including assumptions please see: www.visitbritain.org/forecast
- Visits from short-haul European markets are forecast to recover quicker than long-haul overall, continuing the steady recovery seen this year, reaching 24.1 million by the end of 2023, 88% of the 27.3 million visits in 2019.
- For long-haul markets, the forecast is for 11.0 million overseas visits to the UK in 2023, 81% of the 13.6 million in 2019, with significant variation across markets.
- The latest official ONS statistics available for inbound tourism to the UK are for January to August 2022. These show that there were 18.9 million inbound visits from January to August 2022 with overseas visitors spending £16.0bn in the UK. For more information see: https://www.visitbritain.org/2022-monthly-data.
- The latest data also shows average visitor spending in 2022 of £846 per visit compared to £671 in 2019.
- VisitBritain’s international consumer sentiment research is available here https://www.visitbritain.org/inbound-covid-19-sentiment-tracker and its ‘Motivations, Influences, Decisions, and Sustainability’ research (MIDAS) is available here: https://www.visitbritain.org/MIDAS-research-project
- For destination inspiration for England in 2023 please see: https://www.visitengland.com/whats-new-in-england-2023 and for Britain see: https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/media/story-ideas/how-see-things-differently-britain-2023 and for the 2023 VisitBritain annual events calendar please see: https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/annual-events-britain-2023