UK sees record tourist numbers after pound’s post-Brexit plunge
The number of visitors from North America surged by 35%, the ONS said.
The Brexit-induced collapse in sterling helped push tourist numbers to a record high in June, with overseas visitors splashing out a total of £2.2 billion.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that foreign visits to the UK rose 7% year on year in June to 3.5 million.
This included a 35% surge in North American visitors – from 483,000 to 650,000.
£2.2 billion was spent by overseas residents on visits to the UK in June 17. 2% increase when compared with June 16 https://t.co/lWK3FCpuzH— ONS (@ONS) August 18, 2017
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said that Americans were “clearly buoyed by the particularly sharp drop of the pound against the dollar”.
Sterling has recently extended losses suffered following the Brexit vote last year, with the British currency down 14% against the dollar at 1.29.
Visitors from Europe rose 2% year on year, with the pound tipped to reach parity with the euro in the coming months.
UK residents made 7.2 million visits abroad in June 2017, a 4% rise from June 2016 https://t.co/ckfA4PDE0y— ONS (@ONS) August 18, 2017
Across the second quarter as a whole, foreign visitors to the UK increased 8% to 10.8 million.
Holiday trips to the UK were up 20% to 4.7 million, but business visits were down by 7%.
The collapse in the value of the pound, which has meant less money to spend abroad for Britons, does not appear to have deterred sun-seekers.
Foreign visits by UK residents rose 4% to 7.2 million in June, with Britons splurging a total of £4.6 billion, 15% more than last year.