The severe winter floods failed to deter overseas visitors from coming to the UK and spending lots of money, according to official figures.

The number of trips to the UK made by foreign ­residents in February 2014 was 2.15 million compared with 1.96 million in February last year, the Office for National Statistics found.

Spending by the overseas visitors during these 2014 trips reached £1.51 billion - a huge rise on the February 2013 total of £1.04bn.

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The big increase came despite the number of North American visitors dipping 9% in the first two months of this year.

By contrast, spending by UK residents during trips abroad in the first two months of this year has dipped 7% to £3.65bn.

Sandie Dawe, chief ­executive of VisitBritain, said: "The strong results continue to prove that tourism has a key role to play in the wider success of the ­British economy. Inbound tourism continues to be the fastest growing sector of the industry, with spending by international visitors forecast to grow 6% a year across the rest of this decade."