Figures from the 2013 International Passenger Survey (IPS) reveal a 23% boost in tourist spending compared to July 2012. This increase saw July enjoy record levels of spend as overseas visitors parted with £2.52 billion, beating the previous monthly record of £2.43 billion set in August 2012.
The results also suggest tourism numbers have fully recovered one year on from the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, with a record-breaking 1.53 million holiday visits recorded in July this year. Britain welcomed 3.26 million overall overseas visits over the month, up 3% on July 2012.
This significant uplift continues the record-breaking trend inbound tourism has been experiencing this year, with tourism businesses across the whole of Britain benefitting from the post-Olympic 'bounce'. The first seven months of 2013 have seen more holiday visits to Britain than during the same period of time in any previous year, and 4% higher than the first seven months of 2012.
Across the first seven months of 2013, Britain enjoyed record tourist spend levels of £11.24 billion, 13% higher than the same period in 2012. Over the 12 months to July 2013, there has been record spend of £19.95 billion. Spend per visit was also at record levels in the 12 months to July 2013, with visitors spending an average of £629 - 7% more per visit than in the previous 12 months.
Significantly, July also saw the first positive growth - 2% more visits than in July 2012 - in four months in terms of visits from North America, the market with highest total spend.
The ‘Rest of World’ markets (those outside Europe or North America) also continued to break records, with visits up 9% in July and 11% over the first seven months of the year. For the first time these markets have generated more than 5 million visits over a rolling 12 month period.
Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications said: "There is no clearer sign of Olympic legacy than these hugely positive spend and visitor figures. This is now the third consecutive month we have seen record-breaking levels of holiday visits and overall spend - a fantastic achievement for inbound tourism, which continues to prove it is one of the UK’s key export growth markets. Our overall vision is to inspire the world to explore Britain, so I am particularly pleased to see we are continuing to make excellent progress with our ‘Rest of World’ markets.”
Minister for Tourism, Hugh Robertson said: “Tourism in Britain has never been stronger and the industry is making a big contribution to the economic recovery. Following the success of last year, with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, more people are coming to Britain, spending more money and enjoying all the great things this country has to offer.”