Confidence levels across the UK inbound tourism sector are at a 12 month high after a strong summer in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Results from the latest UKinbonud business barometer show that bookings and arrivals for July and August were up year-on-year, with the US leading as the top growth market.

By contrast, UK inbound tourism saw a continued decline in visitors from France.

However, two thirds (67%) of the association’s members are confident that bookings and visitor revenues will develop positively in the 12 months ahead. This compares with just 42% in May and June.

UKinbound chief executive Deirdre Wells said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to hear that confidence levels have spiked for our members, exceeding those experienced pre- and post-Brexit.

“Further positive news was reported via our survey with 44% of our members stating that bookings and visitor numbers in July and August 2016 were up year-on-year.

“The weakness of the pound, increased demand from European markets and better weather were all cited as reasons behind the increase.”

She added: “These results show that the UK inbound tourism industry should be cautiously optimistic.

“It is imperative this trend continues but we need the support and backing of the government through a strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination; along with continued access to the single market and the open skies agreement.”

Almost three quarters (71%) of members ranked free movement of visitors from the European Union as the top policy that the government should address with Brussels, followed by the free movement of migrant workers.

Wells said: “This is an important issue for our members and we will continue working with the government to address this requirement, ensuring residency for our members’ employees is addressed.”