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Fewer Europeans fly to the UK

Fewer European travellers chose to fly to the UK this summer

Fewer European travellers chose to fly to the UK this summer, according to new figures from national tourism body VisitBritain.

The number of foreign travellers to Britain fell by three percent to 9.3 million, while spending was down two percent to £5.1 billion in the July-September period from last year.

Commenting on the findings, VisitBritain’s outgoing chief executive Tom Wright said the figures were not unexpected given the current economic climate.

"The recent fall in sterling and the approaching Olympics in 2012 give us a tremendous opportunity to promote Britain’s attractions as a destination to the world, but the likely onset of the global recession makes our work and the support we receive ever more critical," he said.

The findings revealed that the number of people arriving on flights from North America fell nine percent to 3.2 million in the first nine months of this year – something that’s been blamed on the stagnating economy in the US.

United Nations World Tourism Organisation secretary general Francesco Frangialli said this week that a stimulus package for tourism would not be necessary.