The new numbers also reveal that it was a record first quarter for overall inbound visits and spend, with 8.3 million visits, up 10%, a new Q1 record, and Q1 spending jumped up by 16% to £4.4 billion ($7.4 billion CAD) compared to January to March last year, a new Q1 spending record and £586 million ($984 million CAD) more than in Q1 2012.
While first-quarter visits from Canada to Britain were up significantly, spending dropped 17% to £75 million ($126 million CAD) in Q1 2017, likely a reflection of fluctuations in the exchange rate.
VisitBritain interim executive vice-president, The Americas, Paul Gauger said: “These strong numbers show how much Canadians enjoy exploring the culture, heritage, cities and countryside of Britain.”
Gauger continued: “We are seizing the opportunity to build on this, showcasing the many special events and anniversaries being held in Britain this year: from the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festivals, to the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book, to commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of beloved writer Jane Austen. As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017, we are highlighting the heritage and cultural links between Canada and Britain on our Canada150 hub. We encourage Canadians to explore their ancestral links to Britain.”
VisitBritain director Patricia Yates observed: “With forward-bookings for international arrivals tracking ahead for the coming months, we are anticipating a strong summer holiday season as we promote the message of value and welcome globally, showing people why they should book a holiday to Britain right now.”
Bookings overall for international arrivals to the UK during the summer are currently tracking 9% ahead of the same period last year.
Go to http://www.visitbritain.org for more.