TORONTO — More than 3.7 million visits were made to the UK in April 2017, up 19% compared to the same month last year and the highest April since records began, according to VisitBritain.
Overseas visitors spent a record £2 billion in April, 20% up on the same month last year.
VisitBritain says the figures come on the back of a record first-quarter for inbound visits to the UK and spend.
This year “is off to an exceptional start for North American inbound tourism to the UK, up 16% from January to April, compared to the same period last year,” said VisitBritain’s Interim Executive Vice President, Americas, Paul Gauger. “We’re thrilled to continue the momentum from 2016, moving into peak summer season, and showcase why there has never been a better time to visit Britain.”
These latest figures bring the number of inbound visits to the UK for January to April this year to a record 11.8 million, 11% up on the same period in 2016 with visitors spending £6.2 billion, up 14% and also setting a new record. Growth this year has been led from long-haul regions including North America with more than one million visits from January to April, up 16% compared to the same period last year.
There were a record 8.3 million visits from the EU from January to April this year, up 7% on 2016.
Strong growth has also been seen in holiday visits with a record 4.4 million visits from January to April this year, up 26% on the same period in 2016.
VisitBritain says the latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that bookings for international arrivals to the UK during the summer are currently tracking 12% ahead of the same period last year.
Visitors from Canada made 828,000 visits to the U.K. in 2016 – up 17% compared to the previous year. This represents the highest visitor numbers since 2006. In 2016 Canadians spent £634 million across Britain, a new annual spend record.