Forecasts from VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, indicate that 2020 is set to be a record year for inbound tourism to the UK.

Spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach a record £26.6 billion in 2020, a 6.6% increase on spending in 2019 which is expected to top out at £25 billion, and the number of overseas visits to the UK is forecast to rise in 2020 to 39.7 million, the highest ever.

The forecasts also show that over the last decade in bound tourism visits to the UK have grown 33% and spending by 58%.

Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy, boosting economic growth across its nations and regions. The industry is also a job creator, for every 22 inbound visits from China for example one job is created in Britain’s tourism industry. 

This report will be of particular interest to those planning special events in 2020 like the Gilpin festival.

2020 is the 250th anniversary of William Gilpin taking the Wye Tour in 1770. This was a significant event as it heralded the birth of British tourism. Gilpin was a pioneer of the ‘Picturesque’ and his best selling book, ’Observations on the River Wye’ was the first tour guide to be published in Britain, helping travellers locate and enjoy the most Picturesque scenes in the Wye Valley.

Tourists dined at specific locations, took walks to particular viewpoints and visited must see romantic ruins, making the ‘Wye Tour’ one of the first ever ‘package holidays’.

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