Record-breaking domestic tourism figures in first quarter 2015

Domestic tourism reached a record high in the first quarter of 2015, according to new figures from VisitEngland. 

The Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) recorded 28.7 million trips in England between January and April this year. This represents an 18% increase on the same time last year and the highest number recorded during the first quarter since the survey began in 2006.

It revealed that spending was also up 18% on the same time last year to almost £5bn, while the number of holidays taken in the first four months of the year was up 7% – the best performance for holidays taken in England during this period since 2012.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic overnight trips increased for the fourth consecutive month with a 10% increase to nine million trips taken and a 5% increase in spend to £1.5bn.

The report said that the figures are a significant improvement on last year, comparing the above average weather in the early months of 2015 to the severe weather conditions and flooding at the beginning of last year.

It also cited a number of high-profile celebrations, including the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill and the first ever Tour de Yorkshire.

James Berresford, CEO at VisitEngland, said: “These results tell a positive story for the first quarter as we approach the summer holiday season. The tourism industry’s confidence demonstrates the resilience of businesses who bounced back after the severe weather conditions that impacted destinations at the beginning of last year.

“With the plethora of sporting, cultural and foodie events taking place across the country this summer we hope this strong performance will continue to boost the industry.”