Big-Spending Americans Boosting British Tourism

10/13/2011 05:47 am ET | Updated Oct 14, 2011
  • PA

Big-spending Americans helped boost UK tourism this summer.

A rise in the number of visits by North American residents to the UK in August led to an increase in foreign visitor spending, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

Overseas residents spent £2.02 billion during their trips to the UK in August, compared with £1.96 billion in August 2010.

The August figure took spending by foreign residents in the UK for the first eight months of 2011 to £11.65 billion - a 4% increase on the January-August 2010 spending figure.

Although the number of visits by North Americans to the UK rose from 374,000 in August 2010 to 380,000 in August this year, total visits by overseas residents dipped from 3.19 million in August 2010 to 3.13 million in August 2011.

But the total for the year so far - at 20.79 million - is 3% higher than the total for January-August 2010.

In contrast, visits abroad by Britons have not increased this year, and spending is down.

The number of trips abroad by UK residents declined from 7.69 million in August 2010 to 7.14 million in August 2011, with visits abroad for the first eight months of this year flat at around 38.45 million.

Spending by Britons abroad for the first eight months of this year has fallen 4% to £21.23 billion, with spending dipping from £4.51 billion in August 2010 to £4.05 billion in August 2011.