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AUSTRALIA’S TIES with the UK are likely to get stronger with the Old Dart making this country an even higher tourism priority.

The increased focus comes as Australians delivered a record spend to the UK last year.

Aussies spent £1.12 billion (approx. $AU2.09 billion) on their trips to the UK in 2022, also delivering record spend per visit, moving up the ranks to become the fourth most valuable market, up from fifth place in 2019.

Figures also show that following the borders reopening in February 2022, Australians are spending more and staying longer.

Our spend per visit increased by more than 40 per cent, from £1,104 (approx. $AU2,056) per trip in 2019 to £1,547 (approx. $2,881) in 2022, almost double the global average of £848 (approx. $1,579) per visit.

Australians are also staying longer in Britain, recording an average length of stay of 17 nights across 2022, over twice as long as the average global visitor and an increase from 13 nights per visit in 2019.

Typifying this country’s inquisitive nature, Aussie visitors were keen to explore outside London.

More than half of visits in 2022 took place outside of Britain’s July to September peak summer season, with key regional places to visit spanning Southeast England, Northern England – including visits to gateway hubs Manchester and Newcastle, as well as Scotland.

Leveraging Australia’s accelerated growth, VisitBritain is making the market an even higher priority, rolling out the global ‘See Things Differently’ campaign in 2023/24.

This campaign will showcase Britain as a dynamic, diverse and exciting destination.

“Our priority has been to rebuild international visitor value so it’s very encouraging to see the pace of Australia’s recovery in spend contributing to Britain’s global recovery, supporting jobs, small businesses and local economies,” said Paul Gauger, VisitBritain’s Executive Vice President, The Americas, Australia & New Zealand.

“Together with our dedicated travel trade partners, we will continue to build demand, convert inspiration into bookings and invite travellers to ‘Come See Things Differently’ in Britain in 2023.”

VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2023 estimates 35.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 86 per cent of 2019 levels and 18 per cent higher than levels seen in 2022.

Its forecast for overseas visitor spending in the UK this year is £29.5 billion (approx. $54.9billion), a projected record high for annual inbound visitor spend.