THE NUMBER of overseas visitors to the UK increased substantially in the three months to March, official figures showed yesterday – but the amount they spent jumped even more sharply.
A total of 6.99m visitors came to Britain in the quarter, up 10 per cent on the same period of 2013.
Between them those travellers spent a total of £4.26bn, up 19 per cent on the year, an average of £609 each.
The increase was driven by European visitors – trips from the continent soared by 13 per cent on the year to 5.5m in the quarter.
By contrast visits made by North Americans dipped two per cent compared with the same period a year ago – just 550,000 visited Britain in the first quarter.
Meanwhile British residents also made more visits abroad. A total of 10.92m trips were made overseas, up seven per cent on the year.
Britons spent a total of £5.55bn on the visits, a fall of eight per cent on the year to an average of £508 each.
In contrast with visits made to the UK, Britons made more visits to the US – up seven per cent – as European trips climbed five per cent.