UK expected to welcome influx of American tourists this week due to Thanksgiving holidays

Lamont Pridmore - Accountants

New research published in recent days suggests that the UK is set to experience a sharp rise in visitor numbers from the United States this week, as Americans flock to Britain for their Thanksgiving holidays.

According to figures from travel analytics firm ForwardKeys, the number of flight bookings from the US to the UK covering the Thanksgiving week period – which runs from Sunday 18 to Saturday 24 November – has increased by 20 per cent year-on-year.

This year, Thanksgiving day falls on Thursday 22 November.

ForwardKey’s data has led to suggestions that American tourists – who are largely considered one of the most valuable types of inbound visitors to the UK in terms of spending – are very likely to break new spending records this year, too.

Historic data reveals that last year, American tourists contributed a record £3.6 billion to the UK economy – representative of a nine per cent rise on figures recorded in 2016.

Meanwhile, US visits to the UK soared by 13 per cent to 3.9 million during the same period.

This year, flight bookings appear to be on the rise and commentators are hopeful that this trend will continue.

Patricia Yates, Director of UK tourism body VisitBritain, said: “We want the UK to be the number one destination for US travellers, so it is great to see forward bookings looking strong in the coming weeks and months from our most valuable visitor market.

“Working with partners including American Airlines, British Airways, Norwegian Air and Virgin Atlantic we are boosting route connectivity and seat capacity, making it easier for US visitors to travel and to explore further through regional gateways such as Manchester, driving growth from tourism across our nations and regions.

“With our hotels and shops, our visitor attractions and accommodation offering great value for US travellers, it is a great time to book a trip.”