Last month Visit Britain released its most recent sets of figures for global visitors to Great Britain. There were no huge surprises but the general trend is up.
Our best customers in terms of frequency are our nearest neighbours: France and Germany but when it comes to the most valuable markets we still look across the pond to our American cousins! However all of these markets pale into insignificance when we look at those individuals who spend the most amount of money!
When it comes down to average spend per visit the undisputed kings of cash are the Kuwaitis who spent over £4,100 per visit in 2012. This was a massive increase on anything achieved previously either by the Kuwaitis or any other country ever – it makes you wonder whether the purchase of Nottingham Forest Football Club by Kuwaiti businessman Fawaz Al Hasawi was included in the figures!
*** Image credit: Simon Harding
Here are the top five – no matter what souvenirs they took home with them!
• Kuwait – £4136
• Indonesia – £2519
• Saudi Arabia – £2342
• Oman – £1950
• Qatar – £1870
At the other end of the scale the list is dominated by (but not exclusively so) eastern European countries, with Hungarian visitors only spending the equivalent of a two night London theatre break to see We Will Rock You! A great achievement as they are staying 6 days on average!
Learn how to travel cheaply: ask one of these five
• Hungary – £263
• Poland – £276
• Belgium – £279
• Estonia – £306
• Slovakia – £308
And from the rest of the world
In general, the old and the young, who were initially least affected by the Global financial melt-down still show no signs of increasing visit numbers, spend or length of stay, whereas the 24 to 54 age range, who were most affected with huge losses in 2007 and 2008 now show healthy increases across the board.
Holiday travel to the UK stalled in 2012 echoing the effect of the Olympic Games on previous host cities, with visitor numbers dropping year on year for the first time since 2000, BUT holiday spend in 2012, driven by the ever-important 25 to 54 year old age brackets, and the continued increase in independent travel ( a factor ever present since the adoption of the internet as an acceptable means of booking personal travel) soared by over £500 Million – that’s a lot of tickets for the Olympic Games!