VisitBritain has published its tourism forecast for 2024 showing an increase in inbound visits and spend overall to the UK compared to 2023 levels.

VisitBritain’s overall forecast for spending by international visitors in 2024 is £34.1 billion, up 7% on the spending predicted in 2023 and up 20% on 2019. Looking at the number of visits to the UK, 39.5 million visits are forecast, up 5% on the 37.8 million expected in 2023 however still 3% shy of 2019 levels.

The United States continues to lead tourism’s recovery with record-breaking spend by American visitors in 2023, up 28% on 2019 based on latest figures.

Recovery from Europe slowed as 2023 progressed with spending, in real terms, remaining just below 2019 based on the latest data.

China has continued to build back with visitor numbers increasing throughout 2023, with an expectation to recover to a value of £1.7 billion in 2024.

VisitBritain is predicting that inbound tourism, both the number of visits and spending, will recover to 2019 levels by early 2025.

VisitBritain CEO, Patricia Yates said: “International visitors spend tens of billions of pounds in the UK with the money generated supporting local economies and jobs, so it has been great to see the growth in spending as well as the overall growth forecast for next year. We want more destinations across Britain to feel tourism’s economic benefits. Our global GREAT Britain campaigns are showcasing our vibrant cities, contemporary culture and beautiful coast and countryside, inspiring visitors to discover more of Britain.”