England recorded its best ever first quarter tourism numbers in 2015, according to a new report published by VisitEngland.
The latest results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) show there were 28.7 million trips recorded in England between January and April this year, an 18% increase year-on-year (YoY), the highest number of trips recorded during the first quarter since the survey began in 2006.
The country also recorded an 18% YoY increase in expenditure to almost £5 billion compared to 2014, while the number of holidays taken in the first four months of 2015 increased by 7% – the best performance for holidays taken in England for this period since 2012.
For the month of April the number of domestic overnight trips increased for the fourth consecutive month with a 10% increase to 9 million trips taken and 5% increase in spend to £1.5bn. This is the best April performance since 2012.
These figures represent a significant improvement on last year, which was characterised by severe weather conditions and flooding at the beginning of the year.
VisitEngland’s latest Tourism Business Monitor supports the findings of this month’s GBTS. Nearly half of accommodation providers and 56% of attractions have reported experiencing an increase in visitors for the year to May. Looking ahead, more than nine in ten of the businesses surveyed remain confident about the school summer holiday period. This is particularly true amongst accommodation providers who’ve reported high numbers of advanced bookings.
The early months of the year were characterised by above average weather and a number of high profile anniversaries including the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill and events including the first ever ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ in May, hundreds of family friendly Easter activities across the country in April and a host of music, food and walking festivals, all contributing to high levels of confidence amongst businesses. The industry also marked English Tourism Week which took place from 14 – 22 March.
VisitEngland CEO James Berresford said: “These results tell a positive story for the first quarter… The tourism industry’s confidence demonstrates the resilience of businesses who bounced-back after the severe weather conditions that impacted destinations at the beginning of last year. We know that England has a fantastic range of standout product and generates high levels of satisfaction for visitors.”