HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Despite rupee slowdown, Indians spent record £441 mn in UK in 2013

Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times  London, May 09, 2014
First Published: 01:05 IST(9/5/2014) | Last Updated: 02:16 IST(9/5/2014)

The rupee’s sliding value has not deterred Indians from visiting Britain. In fact, Indians made 375,000 visits and spent 441 million pounds during 2013, according to official figures.

The visits were a 10.6% increase compared to 2012, while the spending reflected a 32.4% increase since last year.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) described 2013 as a record year with more overseas visitors spending £21.01 billion in the UK and making a record 32.8 million visits.

The growth in tourist traffic was helped by an increasing number of Chinese and Indian visitors coming to the UK, ONS said.

Indian visitors spent 95, 82,000 nights in the UK during 2013. Holidays remain the main purpose of Indians visiting the UK during 2013 with 130,000 visits, and spending of £82 million. Business visits by Indians amounted to 105,000 who spent £209 million.

The purpose of visits by Indians included ‘visiting friends and family’, which reflect the large Indian diaspora in the UK. This category accounted for 111,000 visits, 38 50,000 nights and spend of £60 million.

Of the eight airports in India with direct access flights to Britain, two – Delhi and Mumbai – dominate; the other six Indian airports are Bengaluru, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Goa.

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