Business visits to the UK have reached their highest level since 2008, according to data from VisitBritain’s provisional International Passenger Survey for 2011.
The research reports that a total of 7.1m overseas business visits were made to the UK in 2011, representing a growth of 6 per cent on 2010, and 8.3 per cent on 2009 when a significant downturn was suffered.
Business visits for 2011 made up 23.5 per cent of all inbound visits compared with 22.8 per cent in 2010 and surpassed the growth experienced in holiday travel.
Michael Hirst, chairman of the Business Visits & Events Partnership and spokesperson for the Britain for Events campaign said: “This is really positive news for the industry and with the huge amount of event activity and corporate hospitality surrounding the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we’re confident this growth will continue.”
He added: “This striking performance, even beating the growth in holiday visits, has been achieved against a backdrop of the industry increasing its own marketing initiatives, including the Britain For events campaign, following the withdrawal of VisitBritain from promoting the business visit sector earlier in the year.
"The report has some really positive signs for the future of the business tourism industry and underlines the massive contribution these visits make to the UK’s visitor economy.”
Pictured: Michael Hirst