The UK travel industry is showing some signs of recovery with more people holidaying to the UK and making business trips, according to new figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There are indications that the travel and tourism sector has become more stable with business visits recording short-term growth following a continual drop in the number of trips to and from the country.
The statistics show that between July and October, business related visits both to the UK and abroad by UK residents were six per cent higher than a year earlier, as well as holiday visits to the UK increasing six per cent.
It seems less people are travelling out of the country though with holiday visits abroad falling by three per cent.
The number of British citizens who went to Europe dropped by eight per cent from 47.0 million to 43.0 million, while those who went to North America fell decreased nine per cent from 3.8 million to 3.4 million. Of those visiting other parts of the world it fell by two per cent, from 9.1 million to 8.9 million.
The month May in particular saw an increase in air travel as the industry recovered from the effects of the volcanic ash cloud in April.
So we have established less people left the country, but on average more people did in fact visit the UK.
During the year, the number of visits by overseas residents and foreign visitors to the UK remained on average the same when compared to 2009 and this includes the UK visits by people from Europe, which stayed at 22.0 million; while those from North America fell by five per cent, from 3.5 million to 3.3 million.
Visits from other parts of the world did increase by a small two per cent to 4.3 million.
Roger Smith, Head of the International Passenger Survey for ONS, said: “It does appear that there are signs that the large falls we have seen in the recent past have begun to stabilise and show some signs of recovery. Business visits in both directions have picked up recently. October saw a small rise in holiday visits both to and from the UK compared with the same months a year earlier.”