Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today give a strong indication of the recession’s negative impact on Brits’ overseas travel habits.
According to the ONS Statistical Bulletin for overseas travel and tourism May 2009, the number of UK residents’ visits abroad fell by 8% during the 12 months ending in May, compared with a year earlier, from 70.6 million to 64.6 million.
Seasonally adjusted figures are equally dire with visits abroad in the three months to May down 2% to 15.3 million, compared with the previous three months. They are down a dramatic 14% when compared with the three months to May 2008.
The number of UK residents’ visits to Europe, not seasonally adjusted, fell by 9% to 51.2 million, visits to North America decreased by 10% to 4.2 million, and visits to the other parts of the world fell by 7% to 9.2 million during the 12 months to May.
Spending by UK residents when abroad, seasonally adjusted, fell by 8% to £7.9 billion during the three months to May, compared with the previous three months. Spending by overseas visitors to the UK went up by 6% to £4.1 billion during the same period.