When recent figures indicated a one percent drop in the number of visitors to the UK following the 2012 Olympic Games, the travel industry panicked. New figures, however, indicate that spending amongst tourists to the UK has grown 13 percent, with visitors from China and other emerging markets leading the way.
Britain’s tourism industry boomed during the 2012 Olympics, with record numbers of visitors arriving in London to view the events. The tourism boom carried over to many of Britain’s other tourism hotspots, with overall spending increasing during the games and shortly after their conclusion.
Many travel industry insiders predicted that the end of the games would signal the end of Britain’s resurgence as a major tourism hotspot. Their fears appear to have been mistaken, however, as the 2.88 million visitors that travelled to the UK during April 2013 is a one percent increase from the same period twelve months earlier.
Key contributors to Britain’s tourism industry arrived from emerging markets such as Brazil and China, records indicate. Despite a decline in consumer spending from many Western nations, residents of countries like China and Brazil are increasingly spending their disposable income on international travel.
Britain’s large range of retail shopping options and low consumer taxes make it an increasingly popular destination for Brazilian visitors. Likewise, many residents of China are traveling to the UK on ‘retail holidays’ in order to capitalize on the larger range of high-end products available in the UK.
In the twelve months leading up to April 2013, visitors to the UK spent almost £20 billion on accommodation, entertainment, and retail products. Experts claim that the UK’s tourism industry success can be directly attributed to the success of the Olympics, as the amount of visitors traveling to the EU decreased during 2013.