2015 to see record tourist spending
Spending by overseas visitors during trips to the UK is set to reach record levels in 2015.
Spending in 2013 passed £20 billion for the first time, while the 2014 total is likely to be around £21.3 billion.
The upward trend is expected to continue with the 2015 total likely to reach £22.2 billion, according to forecasts by VisitBritain announced today by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.
As well as spending rising, the number of visits by people from overseas is expected to increase, with 35.1 million trips expected in 2015, up 2.5% on 2014 and compared with 29.8 million in 2010.
Mr Javid said: "The tourism sector is driving economic growth for Britain. The Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee gave us a great platform to showcase the best of Britain but we didn't stop there and have kept up the momentum in the last two years.
"Britain has so much to offer tourists with our stunning countryside, great heritage and world-class sport and culture. Working closely with the tourism industry we will continue to champion the UK abroad as part of our long-term economic plan."
Growth from Chinese tourists has been particularly strong in the last four years. They spent £492 million in 2013, up from £184 million in 2010. Over that period the number of visits from Chinese people rose by 79.1% to 196,000.
The Government is also encouraging more visitors from Mexico to come to Britain in 2015 - which is also the Year of Mexico - in which both countries look to showcase their best culture, arts and creative industries.
The number of visits from Mexicans has climbed from 67,000 in 2010 to 108,000 in 2013 and there is to be a further push in the coming months.
Visitors from the USA are still the biggest spenders during trips to the UK, splashing out £2.5 billion in 2013, which was up 19.4% on 2010.
Spending by visitors from France (up 18% to £1.35 billion) and Germany (up 18% to £1.4 billion) also grew strongly in the four years to 2013.
The French visit Britain the most, with 3.9 million visits in 2013 while Germany is second, with 3.1 million visits in 2013.
Overall, spending by overseas visitors rose from £16.8 billion in 2010 to more than £20 billion in 2013.
VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said: "Tourism will continue to be one of the country's major export earners with VisitBritain playing a critical role in its success.
"One of our priorities for 2015 will be to inspire international visits to the nations and regions and showcase Britain's magnificent countryside.
"In 2010 total spend from overseas visitors was £16.8 billion from 29.8 million trips that shows how well the tourism sector has performed in the last four years and how the Government's tourism strategy, supported by the GREAT campaign, has worked."