Overseas travel to the UK has remained significantly behind pre-pandemic levels, despite a boom if compared to 2021 levels.
This is largely due to countries around the world – including the UK and EU – scrapping Covid travel restrictions since the beginning of the year.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday that, in the first quarter of 2022, overseas travellers made 3.8 million visits to the UK – up from only 245,000 trips during the same period last year.
Tourists spent £3.1bn on their stay, up £2.8bn compared with air visits in the first three months of 2021 as trips to friends and family still remained the main reason for coming to the Britain.
Despite the boom, 2022 numbers were still down on pre-pandemic levels, as between January and March 2019 8.3 million visits were made to Britain.
Despite this summer’s travel chaos, Britons seem to have kept their love for staycations as bookings abroad were 48 per cent below pre-Covid.
According to figures from online travel agency Trip.com, hotel bookings in Britain increased by 173 per cent in July compared with last year’s levels.
Domestic travel continued to boom, as UK travellers booked the most hotel stays in the country, followed by international travellers from key markets such as the US and mainland China.
“UK hotels saw strong recovery not only among the domestic audience but also the beginning of international travellers coming from the US and Asia – showing that London’s top global destination status continues to attract visitors from around the world,” said Trip.com’s EMEA general manager Andy Washington.