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Post-Brexit Britons choosing EU holidays

Press AssociationPress Association 23/09/2016 Thomas Hornall

Four in five Britons who travelled overseas in the month after the vote for Brexit visited countries in the European Union (EU), new figures show.

More than 5.6 million UK residents visited the EU in July, a total of 81 per cent of all Britons who travelled abroad and a rise of 3 per cent on the same month last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is the largest proportion of UK residents abroad to visit the EU in any month in at least the last three years.

The number of people visiting Britain and the amount of money they spent also increased, in a sign that a weakened pound could be making it a more attractive destination.

The figures also showed that to the end of July there were 21.1 million visits to the UK, making it a "record year-to-date", according to tourism site Visit Britain.

Visitor numbers rose to 3.8 million - 2.4 per cent more visits than July last year - while tourist spending increased for the first time in four months, rising 2.3 per cent up to PS2.5 billion ($A4.25 billion).

UK residents made around 200,000 more visits abroad in July compared with last year, with seven million people heading overseas.

The British pound has declined by more than 13 per cent against the dollar since the decision to leave the EU on June 23, giving visitors to the UK greater purchasing power.

Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: "Tourism makes an enormous contribution to our economy and we will continue to support the industry to ensure it thrives and that growth in the sector benefits the whole country."

Visit Britain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: "We want Britain to be top of people's list as a 'must-go now' destination.

"We have an immediate and real opportunity to promote Britain as a great value destination, particularly in our long-haul high spending markets such as China and the US."

Inbound tourism is worth more than PS26 billion to the UK economy, Visit Britain said.

Visit figures include holidaymakers, those on business and trips for other reasons.

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