Slowdown in growth of visits to and from the UK in 2007
Overseas residents' visits to the UK and UK residents' visits abroad
The number of visits to the UK for less than 12 months reached 32.8 million during 2007, an increase of just 0.2 per cent on the previous year. While the total number of visits is a record, the rate of growth is at its lowest for six years and contrasts with growth rates of 9.2 per cent between 2005 and 2006, and 8.0 per cent between 2004 and 2005. The number of overseas visits by UK residents, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 69.5 million between 2006 and 2007, following more than a decade of growth.
There were increases in 2007 in the number of holiday visits and the number of visits to friends or relatives, both in visits to the UK by overseas residents and in visits abroad by UK residents. However, there was a decline in business visits – down by 1.9 per cent into the UK, and by 0.9 per cent abroad.
Of the visits to the UK, 3.6 million (11 per cent) came from the USA in 2007, the most from any one country. This was followed by France, Germany, Irish Republic, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland. Of these there were falls in the number of visits from the USA, France, Germany and Poland while numbers from the remainder increased.
Of all visits abroad by UK residents in 2007, 36 per cent were to either Spain or France. Visits to France bucked the recent downward trend with a 3.2 per cent increase to 11.2 million, while those to Spain fell by 3.9 per cent (to 13.9 million). Other countries that attracted an increased number of visits from UK residents included Tunisia (up 31 per cent from 2006), Poland (up 26 per cent), and Latvia (up 25 per cent). Those experiencing a fall in visits from UK residents included Sri Lanka (down 32 per cent), Egypt (26 per cent), Slovenia and Czech Republic (both 16 per cent).