When it comes to inbound tourism to Britain, the future is looking bright. Record numbers of overseas visitors arrived on our shores in 2017, spending nearly £24.5 billion across the nations and regions of Britain, up 9% in nominal terms on 2016. The total overseas visits to the UK rose by 4%, reaching 39.2 million in 2017.
As well as being a valuable revenue stream, inbound tourism also provides a means of balancing out regular – sometimes more seasonal – domestic patterns, giving you the opportunity to diversify your offer by tailoring it to different markets in different ways, helping to build the impact and performance of your product overall.
There are many benefits to attracting visitors from overseas:
- Because international travel patterns aren’t focused around weekends, international visitors can help level out your footfall
- International visitors provide a much higher yield and spend on average
- By spreading your efforts across a range of international markets you can minimise the impact domestic, or single market changes may have on your business
- Booking lead times for international travel are usually longer, giving you the ability to plan ahead and forecast more effectively
How to do it
Alongside your local and national tourist board, VisitBritain can help you find the best approach for your business: providing market insight and intelligence to help you identify the best markets for your products, helping you sell your product direct to overseas visitors, introducing you to trade buyers and offering valuable advice on successfully marketing your business overseas.
However, before diving in, it’s worth considering if your business is ready for international promotion. Some products will need to be refined before they’re ready to market. Find out whether you are ready to export, and what you can do to prepare your business.