September 12 - British tourism is benefiting from a post-Olympic "bounce" in overseas visitor spending which is up by 23 per cent on July 2012, according to figures from the 2013 International Passenger Survey (IPS).
Overseas visitor spending in July 2013 came to £2.52 billion ($3.98 billion/€2.99 billion) beating the previous monthly spending record of £2.43 billion (£3.84 billion/€28.9 billion) set in August 2012, when the Olympics were taking place in London.
Britain's national tourism agency, VisitBritain says the results suggest tourism numbers have fully recovered one year on from last summer's Games, with a record-breaking 1.53 million holiday visits recorded in July this year, with Britain welcoming 3.26 million overall overseas visits during the month, up three per cent on July 2012.
The figures also reveal a record tourism spend of £11.24 billion ($17.77 billion/€13.37 billion) in the first seven months of 2013, a rise of 13 per cent on the same period last year, while over the 12 months to July, £19.95 billion ($31.54 billion/€23.72 billion) was spent at an average of £629 ($993/€748) per visit, which is up by seven per cent on previous 12 months.
"Tourism in Britain has never been stronger and the industry is making a big contribution to the economic recovery," said Sports Minister Hugh Robertson.
"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."
Following London 2012, VisitBritain launched a campaign to use the interest generated by the global exposure of London and Britain before and during the Games to generate increased trade, investment and tourism.
That research also found that there was a five per cent drop in numbers visiting London in August 2012, compared to 2011, although VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said at the time that this was common for any Olympic host city while the Games are running, going on to point out that there was an overall spend increase of nine per cent during this time.
The latest figures show a rise of two per cent in overall visits from the highest spending market of North America compared to July 2012, while there was an increase of nine per cent in visitors from the rest of the world markets, which encompasses those outside Europe and North America.
"There is no clearer sign of Olympic legacy than these hugely positive spend and visitor figures," said Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain.
"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."
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