Travellers to the UK spent more in July than any previous month.

Spend was up by 23% year on year to £2.52 million against the previous monthly record of £2.43 billion set in August 2012.

The results from the 2013 International Passenger Survey also suggest tourism numbers have fully recovered one year on from the London Olympics, with a record-breaking 1.53 million holiday visits in July this year.

The UK attracted 3.26 million overall overseas visits over the month, up 3% on July 2012.

The first seven months of 2013 have seen more holiday visits to Britain than during the same period of time in any previous year, and 4% higher than the first seven months of 2012.

July also saw the first positive growth – 2% more visits than in July 2012 – in four months in visits from North America, the market with highest total spend.

Overall spend per visit was at record levels in the 12 months to July, with visitors spending an average of £629 – 7% more per visit than a year earlier.

VisitBritain describes the upswing as a post-Olympics ‘bounce’.

Director of strategy and communications Patricia Yates said: “There is no clearer sign of Olympic legacy than these hugely positive spend and visitor figures.

“This is now the third consecutive month we have seen record-breaking levels of holiday visits and overall spend – a fantastic achievement for inbound tourism, which continues to prove it is one of the UK’s key export growth markets.

“Our overall vision is to inspire the world to explore Britain, so I am particularly pleased to see we are continuing to make excellent progress with our ‘Rest of World’ markets.”

Tourism minister Hugh Robertson added: “Tourism in Britain has never been stronger and the industry is making a big contribution to the economic recovery.

“Following the success of last year, with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, more people are coming to Britain, spending more money and enjoying all the great things this country has to offer.”