By Lea Pachta

A 24 per cent decline in business visits to the UK in the year to September has contributed to the continuing fall in total visits to the UK, according to data released today by the ONS. During the same period, holiday visits to the UK have increased by 1 per cent.

Business trips by UK residents abroad were also down 16 per cent in the 12 months to September, compared with a year earlier. Holiday visits by UK residents in the same period also fell 14 per cent.

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The decline in total visits has continued in recent months. Overall, there were 3 per cent fewer visits to the UK by overseas residents in the period July to September 2009 than in the previous three months.

Visits abroad by UK residents declined 1 per cent over the same period.

Quarterly trends

During July to September 2009, the seasonally adjusted number of visits by overseas residents to the UK decreased by 3 per cent to 7.4 million when compared with the previous three months. Associated spending by overseas residents on visits to the UK decreased by 1 per cent to £4.1 billion.

Over the same period, the seasonally adjusted number of visits abroad by UK residents decreased by 1 per cent to 14.7 million, while the associated spending remained broadly the same at £7.6 billion.

Year-on-year trends

During the 12 months to September 2009, the number of visits by overseas residents to the UK, not seasonally adjusted, decreased by 9 per cent when compared with the 12 months to September 2008, from 32.9 million to 29.9 million — a drop of 3.0 million.

In the 12-month period to September 2009, the number of visits abroad by UK residents, not seasonally adjusted, decreased by 14 per cent when compared with the 12 months to September 2008, from 70.4 to 60.8 million— a drop of 9.6 million.

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