VisitBritain has today welcomed a record crumbling May together with bumper spend results for the first five months of 2013.

Latest figures from the ONS International Passenger Survey show a four per cent rise in the number of May visits and a five per cent increase in spend following a two per cent rise in the first five months with a striking double digit ten per cent spike in cash generated.

The positive results mean that the £6.88 billion generated in the first five months of 2013 is an all-time record.

The month of May also saw a record number of visits with 3.08 million tourists enjoying Britain, beating the previous best held since 2008.

These visitors spent £1.67 billion.

The best start to a year since 2008 has also seen a record high for holiday visitors with 1.35 million holidaying in May, seven per cent higher than 2012.

The increasingly important business travel market continues to grow, four per cent up, showing signs that confidence is well and truly being restored in a sector which brings high spending visitors for short stays.

Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director of strategy and communications, said: “The Olympic bounce has well and truly sprung with the best start to a year since 2008.

“This has seen us achieve record breaking spend figures for 2013 to date and record visitor numbers for May and is proof that tourism continues to deliver the economic legacy of hosting the Games last year.

“We are surpassing our spend forecast for 2013, which is testament to the fact that our GREAT campaign has capitalised on the showcasing of Britain through 2012 to turn viewers into visitors.

“Our marketing and promotion of Britain as a great place to visit will ensure we are well positioned to deliver continued growth through 2013 and beyond, achieving positive results for the UK tourism industry and increasing the 2.6 million jobs supported by the sector.”

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