NW cities among top UK destinations

Manchester averaged above 300,000 overseas business visitors a year in the past four years according to figures from Visit Britain.

The city was the third most popular UK city for business visits after London and Birmingham. Manchester was also the third when ranked by all purposes of visit.

Liverpool was the fifth most popular UK city for holiday visits, with an average of 162,000 staying inbound holiday visitors in each of the past four years.

Most visitors to Liverpool come from Ireland, followed by Spain, France, Poland and Germany. US visitors were more likely to visit Manchester or Chester.

David Andrews, director of visitor economy for The Mersey Partnership, the tourism agency for Liverpool, said: "It is encouraging and important that Liverpool has retained its position for overseas visitors given the tough economic climate, and the results also indicate what a strong choice the destination remains for overseas visitors.

"World-class museums, stunning architecture, exciting attractions, new hotels and a diverse events calendar all play major roles in attracting domestic and overseas visitors to this thriving destination which continues to evolve – but there is always room to grow and develop further."

The survey published today looks at figures compiled by the official tourism agency Visit Britain between 2006 and 2009, based on the average number of staying visits in each city.

The top five positions by type of visit:

All purposes – visits (000s)

  • London 14,940
  • Edinburgh 1,301
  • Manchester 896
  • Birmingham 737
  • Glasgow 687

Holiday – visits (000s)

  • London 6,648
  • Edinburgh 771
  • Glasgow 312
  • Inverness 180
  • Liverpool 162

Business – visits (000s)

  • London 3,215
  • Birmingham 380
  • Manchester 338
  • Nights spent travelling 189
  • Edinburgh 154

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