2014 was a record year for Australian visitor nights and spend in the UK, according to full-year inbound tourism figures.
The latest International Passenger Survey has revealed that Australian visitors spent £1.224 billion (AU$2.32 billion) in Britain last year, up 3% on 2013 and a new record. Nights spent in Britain amounted to 15 million, a growth of 1% on 2013 and also a new record.
In total, there were 1.057 million inbound visits from Australia to Britain.
The Australian market is Britain’s fourth most valuable international source market for visitor spend, fifth for visitor nights and tenth for visits. In the five years since 2009, Australian visits have climbed 15.9%, visitor spend 43% and visitor nights 12.7%.
Globally, the figures show overseas visitors spent £21.7 billion during 2013, 3% up on 2013, while overall inbound visits reached a record 34.8 million, up by nearly 2 million – 6% – on 2013.
“Inbound tourism is increasing year-after-year, with Britain now achieving its second consecutive annual record, with further growth forecast for 2015,” chief executive at VisitBritain Sally Balcombe said.
“The marketplace for global tourism is getting tougher, but the Government’s GREAT campaign and VisitBritain’s successful global marketing activity has meant that tourism is increasingly becoming an essential part of the wider success of our economy.”
VisitBritain’s marketing manager, Australia, Mark Haynes is not surprised by the appeal Britain holds for Australians.
“Australians are true regional explorers, visiting all parts of the UK during their holidays. In September and October 2015, 11 cities in England and Wales will host one of the world’s greatest sporting events – the Rugby World Cup – and we continue to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink. In 2016 there will be even more reasons for Australians to visit regional Britain with a host of literary anniversaries to celebrate, including Shakespeare400, along with Wales’ Year of Adventure. With direct and flexible flights from regional Australia to regional Britain we expect these events and celebrations will continue to drive growth in travel beyond London,” Haynes said.