Recession puts a dent in British tourism17 July 2009
The global economic crisis took a heavy toll on travel to and from Britain last year, figures released on Thursday showed, while the first quarter of 2009 was also gloomy for the tourism industry.
Visits to Britain fell to 31.9 million, down 2.7 percent from 2007 and the first fall since 2001, when the 9/11 attacks and a foot-and-mouth outbreak dented global travel, a report by the Office for National Statistics showed.
Visits by Britons abroad also dropped in 2008, marking the first decline in two-way travel — both from Britain and to it — since the Gulf War in 1991.
In the first quarter of this year, visits by British residents abroad fell by 21 percent year-on-year, following a 9 percent fall in the last quarter of 2008.