Visitors from the Middle East were the big spenders during last year’s record 12 months for UK tourist income from foreign residents.
Previously announced figures showed that spending by overseas visitors in 2013 totalled £21 billion, a 12.7% increase on 2012.
More detailed figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that, assessed on spending by day, visitors from the Middle East – excluding the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – forked out the most last year, parting with an average of £173.
UAE visitors came next, averaging £156 per day. Third were visitors from Egypt (£149).
Israelis were the 20th, spending an average of £96 per day.
The French made the most visits last year, at 3.93 million, but they were only the 37th biggest spenders, averaging £71 a day. Germans made the second-most visits – more than 3.16 million – but their average daily spending only reached £74.
US visitors, traditionally those with the deepest pockets, made 2.79 million visits last year, spending an average of £115 a day.
The ONS figures showed how much tourism has boomed over the years. In 1980, overseas residents made just 12.42 million visits to the UK, spending £2.96 billion.