Hospitality Today July-Aug 2016 - Page 5

hospitalitytoday.com | 5 China moves into UK’s top 10 source markets Records were set in 2015 for inbound visits with strong growth from Britain’s major inbound markets including the US and Europe and double digit growth from newer markets China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show very strong growth from China, with visits up 46% on 2014 to 270,000, and spend up 18% to £586 million, moving China into the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound markets. Visits from the US, the UK’s most valuable tourism source market, grew 10% to 3.3 million in 2015. Visitors from the US spent a record £3 billion. A record was also set for visits from the high-spending UAE, up 34% in 2015 to 347,000 with spend up 12% to £487 million. The number of visits across the English regions, excluding London, reached a record for numbers and spend in 2015 with visits up 7% to 15.2 million, and spending up 4% to £7.5 billion. Records were also set for the number of visits to London - up 7% on 2014 at 18.6 million, the first time the capital has seen more than 18 million visits, with spending up 1% to a record £11.9 billion. Visits to Wales grew 4% in 2015 to 970,000, the highest since 2009, with spending growing an even stronger 12% to a record £410 million. While visits to Scotland fell 4% in 2015 to 2.6 million, visit numbers were still well ahead of 2013 following strong growth in 2014.