Trips by overseas visitors to UK 'falling'

Image caption, Spending by overseas visitors has dipped as the number of trips fell

Overseas visitors are making fewer trips to the UK this year, figures have revealed.

In September, 2.48 million visits to the UK were made compared with nearly 2.56 million in September 2009, the Office for National Statistics said.

Spending was also down with foreign visitors shelling out £1.43bn this September, 12% down on September 2009, according to the ONS figures.

Meanwhile, the number of trips abroad by UK residents is also falling.

In the first nine months of the year, they made 43.6 million trips overseas - 7% fewer than in the January-September period last year.

While away, they spent £24.94 billion, a 3% dip on the same nine-month period in 2009.

This is likely to be seen as a reflection of more people choosing to stay in the UK rather than holiday abroad, in order to save money during the recession.

Spending by overseas residents during UK trips so far this year has reached £12.57bn - 1% down on the January-September 2009 figure.

The ONS figures come from the International Passenger Survey compiled from a random sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK by air, sea or the Channel Tunnel.

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