VisitBritain upgrades 2023 inbound tourism forecast on back of stronger recovery, driven by USA

VisitBritain upgrades 2023 inbound tourism forecast on the back of stronger recovery, driven by USA

VisitBritain has upgraded its 2023 inbound tourism forecast. Visits overall to the UK this year are now forecast to be 37.5 million, 92% of 2019 levels and inbound visitor spending £30.9 billion, up 9%

This is an upgrade on the previous forecast, due to data for late 2022 coming in stronger than expected.

At the time of writing, we do not have any official inbound data from the IPS as monthly data has been temporarily suspended. However, a number of other data sources have been consulted, including publicly released total passenger numbers by each inbound transport mode as well as flight booking data; a range of forward-looking indicators (searches and bookings) have also been used to inform short-term prospects.

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said:

Our upgraded forecast is on the back of the stronger recovery we’re seeing, led by the USA with spending by American visitors up 42% to a record £6 billion last year alone. Spending by visitors from our major European markets including France and Spain is also coming back strongly, while East Asia including China, our second most valuable inbound market in 2019 worth £1.7 billion, is still well below pre-COVID levels.

Our priority has been to rebuild visitor value and we’ve been competing hard in markets showing strong recovery with our multi-million pound GREAT Britain marketing campaigns and working with trade so British destinations are sold internationally. We’ve also been investing in separate campaigns in the USA with British Airways and a pilot cooperative marketing programme with industry, converting the interest to visit into bookings now, boosting spend across Britain.

Read the full revised forecast here

Published 18 July 2023