The VisitBritain survey, conducted in the spring, found a steady improvement in the proportion of visitors who feel welcome in the UK over the past three years, with 80% saying they felt at least “very welcome”. More than 40% would be “extremely likely” to recommend visiting Britain for a holiday to their friends and family, up five percentage points from 2010.
When asked where they felt most welcome, restaurants were chosen by 21%, second only to tourist attractions (22%). Pubs were chosen by 13%.
The survey found that one in four visitors felt “extremely welcome” in Britain, an improvement in recent years.
Overall, one in five Americans interviewed associated Britain with being welcoming, and a similar proportion to visitors from China. In contrast, around one in 20 people from established Asian markets in Tokyo and Hong Kong viewed Britain as welcoming, while those in France generally felt the UK was the least hospitable destination for them.
Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, said: “Enhancing the world’s perceptions of a British welcome will help us attract more visitors in the years ahead. The London 2012 Games were a great advertisement for Britain – with the volunteers and the warmth of the welcome being picked up around the world.
“We want to make sure that we continue to be seen as a welcoming destination for our visitors so that they continue to want to come back and recommend us to their friends and family.