Trips abroad by Brits up 2%, says Office of National Statistics

The number of UK residents taking trips abroad from the UK increased by 2% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2007.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show the estimated number of UK residents’ visits abroad, seasonally adjusted, in the three months to March 2008 increased by three per cent to 18.0 million compared with the previous three months and by 2% when compared with the three months to March 2007.

However, the total number of UK residents’ visits overseas, not seasonally adjusted, remained broadly the same during the year ending in March 2008 compared with a year earlier, at 70.5 million.

The number of visits to Europe fell by one per cent, to 55.3 million, visits to North America dropped by two per cent to 4.7 million and visits to other parts of the world increasing by six per cent to 10.6 million.

The ONS also found that overseas visitors numbers to the UK increased by 6%. The data contrasts with analysis from Deloitte which shows the UK hotel industry witnessed a fall in revenue per available room, down 0.5% during the first quarter of 2008.

This suggests that overseas visitor numbers have failed to make up for declining domestic tourism, said Deloitte hospitality managing partner Marvin Rust. “While visitor numbers increased marginally in the first quarter of this year, we have seen a continuation of the decline in US visitors who traditionally spend well on hotel rooms.

“This decline has had an impact on hotel revenues and for the first time since 2003, we witnessed a decline in revenue. However, to date, hotel demand has arguably been more resilient than that on the High Street showing that the ‘short break’ has now become embedded in our culture.”

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