Fewer tourists come to the UK but splash more of their cash

Ben Southwood
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DESPITE a dip in the number of visits foreign tourists made to Britain in January, high spenders boosted the UK’s total earnings.

Foreigners made one per cent fewer visits to the UK in January 2013, compared to a year before, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday.

But this did not stop the UK bringing in eight per cent more in earnings from these visits, the ONS numbers revealed.

Meanwhile, visits abroad by Brits jumped six per cent over the year to January, but the ONS said that this came from a particularly weak number for the month last year.

And frugal UK tourists spent just two per cent more in spite of the jump in trips.

But looking more broadly the picture for UK tourism was steady, the ONS said. The number of foreign visits was up one per cent in the 12 months up to and including January 2013, compared to the 12 previous months. Within this the number of business trips grew two per cent, the ONS said while there were one per cent fewer holidays made. Despite the mixed picture, earnings were up four per cent.

And UK residents made roughly the same number of visits abroad in the 12 months ending with January as they did in the previous 12, the figures showed. But across these trips, they spent three per cent more.