The UK is seeing a huge upswing in overseas visitors, with tourism spending from foreigners forecast to rise by more than a third over the next four years to reach £27bn per annum.
Visitors from the US currently spend the most in the UK, followed by France and Germany, with the spending pattern predicted to continue through to 2017. However, it’s the emerging economies – such as China, the UAE and Russia – that will have a significant effect, outstripping the established spenders in growth terms due to the increasing wealth of consumers in these countries, particularly their burgeoning middle-classes.
By 2017, the UAE and Russia are set to break into the top ten nationalities to visit the UK, while and tourists from China alone will spend £1bn each year, up a considerable 84 per cent from 2013.
The report by Barclays also predicts that the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors will be the big winners, with the rise in tourist spending assisting in a boom.
Spending on hotels, dining and attractions will rise by 33 per cent to £14.7bn in 2017. Overseas visitors are predicted to spend £5.3bn on eating out by 2017, up 34 per cent, with spend on leisure attractions increasing 32 per cent to £2bn. Hotel accommodation is anticipated to attract £7.3bn in spend by 2017, an increase of 33 per cent, according to Barclays.
Barclays also highlighted the south west in as a standout region for growth, with a Chinese influx of tourists predicted for the area, with main draws including Bath, Bristol and Cornwall proving popular.