Top 10 countries whose residents provided the most visits to the UK (2010)
Republic of Ireland
The United Kingdom is the world's 8th biggest tourist destination, with 29.2 million visiting in 2011. US$17.2 billion was spent in the UK by foreign tourists. VisitBritain data shows that the US remains the most-valuable inbound market, with American visitors spending £2.1bn in 2010. Nevertheless, the number of travellers originating from Europe is larger than those travelling from North America - 21.5 million compared to 3.5 million American/Canadian visitors.
The country's principal tourist destinations are in London, with the Tower of London being the single most visited attraction in the country.
Domestic tourism remains the biggest component of tourist spending in the UK, with 2009 expenditures totalling £21,881,000,000, according to VisitBritain. The national statistical agency also estimates that there were 126,006,000,000 trips made in 2009. The busiest period for domestic travel in the UK is during bank holidays and the summer months, with August being most hectic. There is a longstanding history in the UK of travel to coastal resorts such as Blackpool, Lancashire and Swansea, Wales, with many families staying at accommodation called holiday camps. This tradition has faded significantly due to competition from overseas package holiday operators, rising operational costs, and rapidly changing demand which forced many holiday camps to close in the 1980s and 1990s.