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Tourist Visits to the UK This Year Expected to Rise 21%

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Tourism in the UK is estimated to only be able to attract 11.7 million international tourist arrivals this year. That number is very small when compared to 32.3 million visits in 2019, but it is 21% better than last year which only recorded 9.7 million visits.

According to VisitBritain, the British Tourist Authority based in London, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought down the country’s tourism industry. Once the pandemic hit in early 2020, the number of tourist arrivals plummeted by 76%.

The drop in visits is expected to cut the value of tourist spending in the UK by 80% from £24.7 billion (US$34.5 billion) in 2019 to £5.7 billion (US$7.9 billion) by 2020. Year of this, the outbound expenditure of arriving foreign tourists was only 16% greater than last year to £6.6 billion (US$9.2 billion).

VisitBritain hopes that the movement for tourism recovery in the UK this year will be influenced by the recovery in European markets which are likely to improve more quickly. So, although it was slow at the beginning but showed a positive movement starting mid-year.

However, it is also realized that optimism could change depending on the success of vaccinations and the level of COVID-19 cases, both in the main European market and the UK domestic market itself. Therefore, VisitBritain realizes that tourism in the UK is still difficult to return to normal this year.

The UK only estimates that of the 11.7 million tourist arrivals this year, 9.3 million will come from Europe and the rest from the long-distance market. From that visit, European tourists likely spent £3.5 billion (US$4.8 billion), while long-distance tourists were £3.1 billion (US$4.3 billion).

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