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The number of international visits to Britain continue to grow, with visitors spending more and inbound tourism setting new records for visits in the first six months of 2015 and very strong quarter two figures from the Office of National Statistics show.Britain has welcomed three per cent more visits over the first six months of 2015, beating last year’s record figures for the same period.Spending in the first six months of 2015 increased by two per cent, contributing £9.5 billion to the UK economy.

The English regions, outside London, were big winners with a six per cent increase in both visits (4,049,000) and spend (£1.858 billion) in quarter two compared to 2014.Visitors from China and the Gulf Co-operation markets have indicated their growing love of Britain as a holiday destination with record numbers visiting during the first six months of 2015.

Visits from Britain’s two most valuable markets, USA and Germany, spent record amounts in the first six months, with visitors from India, Singapore and Sweden also increased their spending during this period. Strength in the numbers of visits from growth markets such as China – rising 28 per cent to a record 90,000 in the first half of the year – and the GCC, with record numbers of visits, 282,000 (two per cent), and spend of £677 million (up three per cent) indicates the success of regional VisitBritain campaigns and commercial partnerships in both markets.