Trips to Britain boost business as tourist numbers lift again

THE NUMBER of people visiting the UK both for business and leisure is still on the rise, with earnings for British businesses from international tourists increasing at a similar pace.

According to official statistics, there was an eight per cent increase in the number of holiday visits to the UK during the 12 months to October, and there have now been 27.75m visits to the UK in the first 10 months of 2013.

Earnings from trips to the UK from overseas are up 12 per cent compared to the same period last year, rising to £17.75bn.

Fewer people visited from north America during October, with a one per cent dip recorded. Visits from the rest of the EU rose by 17 per cent compared to October 2012.

The increase in the number of Britons travelling outside the UK has been more muted: 51.01m trips from the UK were taken between January and October; two per cent more than was recorded last year.

Consumers have also loosened their belts a little, spending £30.48bn on travel, up five per cent compared to last year.