See Things Differently

VisitBritain is forecasting that inbound tourism is set to continue its strong recovery, with spending by inbound visitors set to grow faster than visitor volume, and that per trip spending will be higher as well.

Its overall forecast is for spending by international visitors in the UK of £29.5 billion ($46 billion CAD) in 2023, up 4% on the all-time spending high of £28.4 billion ($44.3 billion CAD) in 2019. Looking at the number of visits to the UK, 35.1 million visits are forecast, 86% of the 40.9 million in 2019.

VisitBritain has also upgraded its end of year forecast for 2022 to 29.7 million inbound visits to the UK, 73% of 2019, and spending of £25.9 billion ($40.4 billion CAD), 91% of 2019. This follows an increase in overseas visitor spending in the UK this year with higher spend per visit and longer stays, based on the latest data.

Visits from Canada and the USA were particularly strong through the summer, reaching 2.1 million between June and August, up 7% on the same period in 2019 and marking the highest August on record for visits from North America.

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates observed: “Our priority has been to rebuild international visitor value so it is very encouraging to see the continued strong recovery forecast in spend, supporting jobs, small businesses and local economies right across the country.”

Gavin Landry, VisitBritain’s Executive Vice President for the Americas & Australia, pointed out that: “Canada and the USA are important markets to drive the recovery of inbound tourism to Britain and the high number of visits and spend through summer 2022 demonstrate that the demand for travel to Britain remains strong in North America.”

Landry continued: “We look forward to building on this demand with our new marketing campaign launching early next year, and through our continued work with the travel trade to drive bookings and welcome visitors to discover what’s new in Britain in 2023.”

VisitBritain is set to launch a new GREAT Britain marketing campaign to drive bookings, inspiring visitors to ‘See Things Differently,’ promoting messages of warm welcome and highlighting Britain as a dynamic, adventurous and inclusive destination.

The campaign will also capture major events in 2023 including the Coronation of King Charles III in May and Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, also in May, timely and valuable opportunities to promote Britain’s welcome and creativity and ability to host events of the highest caliber.

VisitBritain’s research earlier in 2022 showed that exploring Britain’s history and heritage is the top motivator for international travelers keen to visit this year, followed by visiting its vibrant towns and cities.

Its research has also showed that the biggest drivers for visitors globally in choosing a destination are that it offers ‘good value for money’ and is a ‘welcoming place to visit.’

More than half of people VisitBritain surveyed who were keen to travel had also not made up their minds where to go, presenting valuable opportunities to influence destination choice and drive bookings.

Inbound tourism was worth more than £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019, its third largest service export and a major part of British trade.