Just how many visitors a year does Kent attract?

The UK continues to attract a record number of visitors to its shores from the tourist, business to eductional traveller, but we are more keen to understand what slice of the pie Kent is getting.

According to in 2018 over 37million people visited the UK and spent between them £22.8billion, which is £601 per person. A very useful contribution to the UK economy each year.

London, of course, is the most popular region – in fact it is the number one region in the world for revenues made per visitor (at £17.4billion) – which is just ahead of Singapore.

The county of Kent, however, more than holds its own attracting 1.08m visitors a year. To give this some perspective there are 1.55m residents living in Kent.

Number of visitors to Kent 2008 – 2019

Given the good selection of attractions in the county, the biggest category for visitors to Kent is the holiday maker, who make up over 38% of all visitors.

Type of visitors to Kent by category

The continual weakening of the Pound can attract new overseas visitors

Given the recent decline of the British pound, it would be quite reasonable to expect an increase in overseas holiday travellers and that can benefit Kent too. Certainly, London is expecting an increase in Asian travellers benefiting from this currency decline. Much Asian currency, like the Thai baht, for instance, have been getting stronger. In under a decade, the Thai baht versus British pound sterling has moved from 72 baht to £1 to 36 baht to the £1. It’s a huge shift and makes the UK a cheaper holiday destination to many countries now – unbelievable but true!

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Dan is Managing Director for Inspire Kent and Choice Group Asia Media Group, which includes some of the biggest media for foreigners in Thailand.

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