Emirates A380

Far East markets grow for Manchester

Singapore and China have moved into the top ten leisure markets for tourists visiting Manchester following an increase in flights from the Far East to the city.

The number of leisure visitors from Singapore to Manchester has nearly tripled in the past 12 months from 1,500 in 2009 to 4,500 in 2010, which makes the country Manchester's ninth largest leisure market. China has also entered the top 10 with over 4,400 visitors in 2010. Switzerland and Canada fall out of the top ten.

Ireland, the USA and Australia are the top three country markets from which more visitors set off to come to Manchester.

The data, from the Office for National Statistics' latest International Passenger Survey, also confirmed that Manchester has retained its position as the third most popular destination in the UK for international visitors to Britain.

The top five destinations in the UK during 2010 were:

  1. London: 14.7m visitors
  2. Edinburgh: 1.3m visitors
  3. Manchester: 811,000 visitors
  4. Birmingham: 740,000 visitors
  5. Glasgow: 551,000 visitors

Greater Manchester increased its number of international visitors by 5% to 1,016,000 and business visits increased by 16% in 2010 compared to the UK increase of 3%.

Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, said: "Manchester has always been a popular destination for visitors from Ireland, the USA, Germany and Norway, but the Far East has really increased its prominence. The extra capacity on flights to the Middle East, particularly the Emirates and Etihad Airways services, will certainly have helped as that route is one of the fastest ways of getting to Manchester. 2012 looks set to be another positive year for tourism, with the opening of the National Football Museum and the Olympic Games taking place at Old Trafford among the year's highlights."

Top 10 countries of origin – leisure visits

Number of visits

1. Ireland (1 in 2009)


2. USA (2)


3. Australia (5)


4. Germany (4)


5. Norway (9)


6. Spain (3)


7. France (8)


8. Poland (-)


9. Singapore (-)


10. China (-)


Source: Visit Britain

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