Two tourists, wearing union jack hats, enjoy a sunny afternoon on Millennium Bridge in London on April 6, 2018.
© FT

Visitors to the UK spent 15 per cent less in the third quarter than they did during a record period the previous year, according to new data released on Thursday.

Estimated spending by overseas visitors came to £7.2bn, from £8.4bn the same quarter in 2017, the provisional figures showed. Compared with the three months to September in 2016, spending was down 6 per cent.

Of the 10.8m visits during the quarter, 3 per cent lower than in the comparable period a year previously, 4.8m were holidaymakers, an increase of 1 per cent, while business visits rose 6 per cent to 2.1m. Visits to friends and relatives declined 11 per cent.

UK residents meanwhile spent £16.4bn on their trips abroad, 3 per cent more than they did a year earlier. The data were collected from an international passenger survey, the ONS said.

Britain’s economy expanded during the third quarter at the fastest clip since 2016, said the ONS last month, but uncertainty over Brexit clouds the outlook.

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