Where visitors to the UK go

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Which are the most popular places to go in the UK for overseas visitors? Counting how many of us visit our own cities isn’t easy but for those coming from abroad, the International Passenger Survey provides some answers and now, Visit Britain has played looked at the data and come up with some answers.
It will come as no surprise that London is the most popular destination. With three major airports, and another two close by, as well as the Eurostar links it would be astonishing if it didn’t dwarf all other cities. Next come Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool in that order. Then Oxford. Obviously the university and its associated buildings and heritage are the draws. But it does show that at least one city does not need an international airport to attract overseas visitors. And in the top twenty, there are only another three cities that don’t have international airports, Cambridgeshire, (as Visit Britain puts it but Stansted is forty minutes away) Brighton & Hove ( but easily reached from Gatwick by train in thirty minutes) Bath and York. It seems to suggest that having an international airport – or being close to one – is an almost guaranteed way to attract visitors. The only cities with international airports not in the top twenty are Belfast and Norwich.
The city in twentieth position is Windsor (very close to Heathrow) and this is selected by Visit Britain as being one of many cities in the top twenty list as being used or connected to Olympic events next year. For them, this shows the increasing popularity of proposed Olympic destinations. But Southampton, the only new entrant in the top twenty, is not scheduled for an Olympic event. It does have an international airport though.

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