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VisitBritain Forecasts Positive Growth in 2024 Tourism

VisitBritain's latest tourism forecast for 2024 indicates an overall uptick in inbound visits

VisitBritain Forecasts Positive Growth in 2024 Tourism, Fueled by Diverse Markets

VisitBritain’s latest tourism forecast for 2024 indicates an overall uptick in inbound visits and spending to the UK compared to 2023 levels, though recovery rates vary across major visitor markets.

The projection for international visitor spending in the UK in 2024 is £34.1 billion, marking a 7% increase from the predicted 2023 spending and a substantial 20% rise from 2019 levels (adjusted for inflation). Anticipating 39.5 million visits, a 5% rise from the expected 37.8 million in 2023, the figures still fall 3% short of the 2019 visit levels.

The United States stands out in leading tourism recovery, boasting record-breaking spending by American visitors in 2023, up 28% from 2019 (adjusted for inflation). VisitBritain forecasts the US market to reach £6.7 billion in 2024, with American visitors contributing nearly £1 in every £5 of all inbound spending.

The recovery pace from Europe has slowed, with spending just below 2019 levels in real terms. China, the UK’s second most valuable inbound market in 2019, is expected to recover to a value of £1.7 billion in 2024, making it the fourth most valuable inbound visitor market for the UK.

VisitBritain predicts a full recovery to 2019 levels in inbound tourism, both in the number of visits and spending by early 2025. CEO Patricia Yates acknowledges the slow overall recovery pace and emphasizes the need to compete with European neighbors.

“We have however seen a slow-down in the overall pace of recovery compared to the strong start seen in the first half of 2023 and we face fierce competition from our European neighbours. To drive spending to Britain our international campaigns will remain focused on those markets showing strong growth, including Australia and the US, and we’ll continue to compete hard in our major European markets and the valuable Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries,” says CEO Patricia Yates.

The GREAT Britain marketing campaigns in 2024 will span Australia, France, Germany, the GCC, and the US, encouraging visitors to ‘See Things Differently.’ Leveraging the appeal of screen tourism, the campaigns showcase Britain’s regional diversity through film and TV locations, aiming to inspire travel.

VisitBritain continues its collaborative efforts with partners like British Airways and Wego to convert interest into bookings. With tourism being a crucial industry for Britain, VisitBritain’s initiatives aim to not only boost tourism but also promote economic benefits for various destinations across the country.