VisitBritain is predicting more international visitors to the country in 2024, comparable with pre-Covid figures.
The overall forecast for spending by international visitors in the UK is 2024 is £34.1 billion, up 7% on the spending predicted in 2023 and up 20% on 2019, although 96% of 2019 levels when adjusted for inflation.
Looking at the number of visits to the UK, 39.5 million visits are forecast, up 5% on the 37.8 million expected in 2023 however still 3% shy of 2019 levels.
The United States continues to lead tourism’s recovery with record-breaking spend by American visitors in the UK in 2023, up 28% on 2019 based on latest figures even when adjusted for inflation. VisitBritain is expecting the US market to be worth £6.7 billion in 2024 with American visitors contributing almost £1 in every £5 of all inbound spending.
The pace of recovery from Europe slowed as 2023 progressed with spending, in real terms, remaining just below 2019 based on the latest data.
VisitBritain is predicting that inbound tourism, both the number of visits and spending by international visitors, will recover to 2019 levels by early 2025.
VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said, ‘International visitors spend tens of billions of pounds in the UK with the money generated supporting local economies and jobs, so it has been great to see the double-digit growth in spending from the US as well as the overall growth forecast for next year on 2023.’
VisitBritain’s research shows that one of the biggest drivers for visitors globally in choosing a destination is that it is a welcoming place to visit.
Tourism is one of Britain’s most successful industries, its third largest service export and a major part of British trade.