UK tourism is relying on the British

The number of tourists from abroad have dropped in the last year

The number of Brits taking holidays in the UK has risen in the last year, while fewer foreign nationals are choosing to stay in the country.

According to recent figures from Eurostat, the industry as a whole suffered during 2009, with a two per cent drop in overnight stays.

The number of nights spent in the country by non-residents fell by 7.8 per cent, although the blow was softened by a 2.2 per cent rise in Brits holidaying at home.

According to the Association of Independent Tour Operators, some of the results are unsurprising.

Spokesperson Ian Bradley explained that the staycation trend meant that a rise in British holidaymakers was not unusual, but that the foreign national figures were “certainly a higher drop than we would have expected”.

He suggested that if Britain is to compete with other European nations then it will have to do more to encourage visitors, despite the fact that it is one of the continent’s best performers in terms of tourism.

“We’ve got to concentrate on the amount of sites that we have, the heritage that we have, the quality of food, the sights that you can see,” Mr Bradley said.