Overseas visits by foreign residents to Britain are likely to increase by 300,000 next year, UK's tourist chiefs have predicted. Numbers will be around 30 million - a 1% rise on the 2010 figure, the VisitBritain organization said.
The amount visitors spend during these trips is likely to increase 2% to £17.2 billion.
But VisitBritain said this figure was considerably lower in real terms than the best year for inbound visitor spend (once adjusting for inflation) which was 2006 when spending reached £18.4 billion at 2010 prices.
The organization also said that the economic recovery remained fragile in many parts of Europe and North America - two regions that account for 85% of all international visits to Britain.
VisitBritain said pressure will grow on travelers' disposable income during 2011, as global commodity prices rise and taxes increase in many parts of the world.
On the positive side, the prolonged highly competitive value of sterling against a range of currencies including the euro and the dollar continued to make a trip to Britain very good value for European and American visitors in particular.
The organization will begin a global marketing campaign in spring 2011 which will focus, among other things, on the April 2011 Royal Wedding and the two big events of 2012, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics.
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: ”We are looking forward to an exciting and challenging 2011”. He added that “the eyes of the world will be on Britain as we host the Royal Wedding and momentum will build as we near the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.