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Today we launch our annual review announcing the results from our activities from the last financial year and our new five-year strategy.

Our results

Visitors spent an additional £951 million in Britain in the last financial year
, as a result of our international and domestic activity.

This means that for every pound invested in us, visitors spent £23 in Britain. As well as UK Government investment, we attracted £11.5 million of investment in cash and in-kind from commercial partners and delivered £1.9 million profit from our online shop, money which is reinvested into our activities to grow the value of tourism.

These figures were revealed at our launch event in London today, attended by Tourism Minister, Helen Whately MP. They follow our recently released inbound tourism forecast for 2020. Spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach a record £26.6 billion in 2020, a 6.6% increase on the expected spending in 2019 of £25 billion. The number of overseas visits to the UK is forecast to rise this year to 39.7 million, the highest ever, and up 2.9% on 2019. During the last decade inbound tourism visits to the UK have grown 33% and spending by 58%. Latest available domestic statistics show that Brits have also been taking more holidays at home.

Five-year strategy 2020-2025 

Looking longer-term we have also announced today our ambition to grow inbound visitor spending to £35 billion with 49 million inbound visits by 2025.

The industry came together and put tourism at the top of the UK Government’s agenda with the Tourism Sector Deal. The Deal set out plans to extend the tourism season and build business events, develop a recruitment and retention programme and build stronger tourism destinations across the country. A landmark tourism ‘data-hub’ would be supporting businesses and destinations across the UK to better understand their domestic and international customers and to tap into new markets to drive growth.

Our new strategy sets out not only how we will support the delivery of the Tourism Sector Deal, but also our vision for the next five years.

Our ambition is to grow the value of tourism across Britain, ensuring the nations and regions all benefit from sustained growth. By extending the season and targeting high value markets and visitors we will help the industry to become more productive.

Over the next year we will be working to ensure all our activity delivers on our mission – to make tourism one of the most successful and productive sectors for the UK economy.

A key policy focus for the year ahead is also sustainability with countries around the world grappling with the global growth in tourism and the UK no different. Although we are a long way from over-tourism, we want to collaborate with the whole industry in building a resilient response to the environmental and climate change pressure that we all face.

View our latest Annual Review and Five Year Strategy and find out more about our activities, achievements and ambitions.

As we begin a new decade we look forward to working with all of you and the new Government to harness the energy and ambition shown by the signing of the Tourism Sector Deal, driving more investment and economic delivery from tourism right across the country and cementing the competitiveness of one of Britain’s great industries.

Steve Ridgway CBE
British Tourist Authority (VisitBritain/VisitEngland)

Read the press release

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