Business visits to Britain increase but yet to hit 2008 levels

The latest figures from Britain’s Office for National Statistics indicate that the first half of 2014 was the strongest ever for inbound British tourism, however business visit figures are yet to hit 2008 levels.

Britain’s Office for National Statistics has identified 16.4m inbound visits to Britain from January to June 2014.

June 2014 saw a six per cent increase in business visits compared to the same month last year. Looking at the rolling 12 months to June 2014, there has been a five per cent rise in business visits, although levels are yet to reach 2008 figures.

June saw a 10 per cent increase in overseas visitors from the previous year with a total of 3.18m visitors. Visitor spending also increased by four per cent in nominal terms, setting a new June record of £1.97bn. Spending is on par from January to June 2014  with the amount spent during the same period in 2013, although the longer term view of the last 12 months shows a seven per cent increase.

As figures hit the halfway mark, Britain saw more visits from its largest visit-generating region, the EU15 countries, than in the first six months in 2013, up 10 per cent and setting a new June record of 1.78m. There were also record levels of visits from the non-EU European regions in June, up 28 per cent, while year-to-date figures show a 20 per cent increase compared to the same time in 2013. Visits from the rest of the world regions were in line with June last year.

Many of London’s most well-known cultural institutions have recently come together in a new initiative to promote the capital’s autumn season, as forecasts show over two million visitors are expected to visit exhibitions and events in the city.

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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