VisitBritain is expecting record growth for inbound tourism in 2020.
The number of people visiting the UK is set to reach a record-breaking 39.7 million next year, up by 2.9% on 2019.
Those tourists are also expected to spend 6.6% more than in 2019, contributing £26.6 billion to the economy overall.
Over the past decade, inbound tourism has grown 33% and its spending increased by 58%.
“Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries and these results show our continued ability to attract international visitors in a fiercely competitive global market,” said Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director.
“We are seeing success in growing tourism from our long-haul, high-spending markets including the US, our largest and most valuable inbound market, and from markets that are crucial for our future such as China.”
Data from ForwardKeys shows that forward flight bookings to the UK, from December 2019 to May 2020, are up 5% compared with the same period last year.
Flights from China and south Asia have risen 33% and 22% respectively, and for every 22 inbound visits from China, one tourism job is created in Britain.
This comes as the government plans to drive major investment and economic delivery in tourism destinations across the country as part of a Tourism Sector Deal.
VisitBritain has also launched a campaign called Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…, which tells the story of people and places around the country to encourage visitors to travel further and stay longer.