Tourism boost for UK in 2011

Britain celebrated a bumper year for tourism in 2011 thanks to the royal wedding, according to new statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

More than 30 million people from around the world chose to visit the UK last year; an increase of 800,000 compared to 2010. This figure was enhanced by the royal wedding, as an additional 350,000 people arrived in April to witness Prince William and Catherine Middleton become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The influx of tourists provided a major boost for British businesses – from camp sites and car hire firms to restaurants and museums – with foreign tourism in 2011 generating around £17.8 billion expenditure.

Following the release of these statistics, tourist organisation VisitBritain has urged UK companies to build on the strong growth experienced last year.

“As we look back on a positive 2011 for both holiday visits and spending, we want to make sure we capitalise on these gains by helping boost jobs across the country and create a lasting tourism legacy for many years to come,” VisitBritain spokesperson Patricia Yates commented to the Press Association. “We are encouraged that the number of visitors coming to Britain from North America has risen. This is significant as we earn very nearly twice as much from US visitors than we do from any other source market.”

In addition to welcoming foreign visitors, a large number of UK residents opted for a ‘staycation’ last year to enjoy the country’s many tourist attractions.

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