• 15 Nov 2012
Tower Bridge Olympic Rings. Credit and copyright 1080 Media

New tourism figures issued this morning confirm that Britain is well placed to build on encouraging inbound Olympic numbers.

September’s International Passenger Survey (IPS) figures issued today by ONS(1) reveal that visitor numbers were up by 1% (2.63m) and that visitor spending reached a record £1.9BN (an increase of 17%).

Overseas visitor spend in the UK is now 5% higher than in the first nine months of 2011.

Olympic visitors

It is estimated that 680,000 visits from overseas to the UK in July, August and September were primarily due to the London 2012 Games.

For July to September the average spend by people attending or involved in the Games was £1,350, more than double all other visitors and another record for average spend.

Sandie Dawe, VisitBritain’s Chief Executive, said: “These figures offer us an ideal platform to create a golden tourism legacy going into 2013 and beyond.

"These encouraging numbers mean that visitors are on track to spend more in the UK than we initially forecast – a good result for the economy.

“It’s quite clear that Olympic visitors generally spent a lot more, often visiting for longer, as well as buying tickets for various events and staying in hotels.

“We’ve worked hard and fast to make sure we capitalise on the Olympic interest and positive buzz across the world. As soon as the Games came to an end we launched the next stage of our GREAT Britain campaign a £15 million phase inviting the world to ‘make their own memories’.

“Tourism is an industry that has proven time and time again it can boost the UK economy and with our GREAT activity, can provide long term sustained growth post Olympics.”

Last month VisitBritain launch a consultation to grow inbound tourism to Britain, with an ambition to reach 40 million visitors by 2020, a 3% year on year increase.

For more information contact:

About VisitBritain

  • VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing the UK’s visitor economy.
  • Americans made 2.8 million visits to Britain in 2013 and spent $4.17 billion USD (£2.54 billion). The US remains in the top spot in terms of market value for inbound tourism and is one of the top three most important markets in terms of visitor numbers.
  • Visitors traveling to Britain can find out more information from plus purchase money and time saving local transport, sightseeing, attraction, theatre and tour tickets from 
  • Follow us on Twitter @VisitBritain, Pinterest (Love GREAT Britain), Instagram: lovegreatbritain and Facebook: LoveGREATbritain