The first signs of recovery in UK tourism to Tunisia following the 2015 terrorist attack in Sousse have emerged.

A new study of data from the Office for National Statistics revealed a 537% year-on-year rise to 19,000 visits in the first quarter of 2018.

The North African country saw the biggest increase in visitors from the UK of any country in the world, albeit numbers were still low.

Research by Manchester-based luxury travel frim Rich Vein Travel disclosed that Finland achieved the second biggest increase at 92,000 UK visits – up 78% – followed by Turkey (up 74%), Mexico (up 67%), and Egypt (up 40%).

The agency found that although the total number of trips made by Britons abroad was down to 13.3 million in the first three months of 2018, several destinations in particular saw strong growth. These included Hong Kong (up 39%), Romania (up 16%) and India (up 13%).

However, in the study of over 191 countries, there were declines for some historically popular destinations.

The number of people travelling to New Zealand has slumped by 44% year-on-year despite UK tourism to the country last year surpassing 2015 and 2016 levels.

Visits to Australia by UK residents fell by a third in the first part of 2018 while trips to Denmark, Norway and Russia were also down.

Travel to Spain fell by 3% to 2.26 million in the first quarter, while visits to France dropped by 4% to 1.68 million.

Company spokesman Anthony Charles: “What we discovered by looking into this body of data was that some of the trends that we see when speaking to our clients are evident across the UK.

“There were some interesting figures – like the 24% decline in 2018 for Barbados during one of the most important seasons for tourism in the Caribbean.”

“But we also came across some unexpected results, with Finland tipped to become one of the hottest destinations in the coming years, based on the data to date.”