BRITONS are spending far less while on trips abroad despite favourable exchange rates.

Spending by UK residents while on overseas visits has dipped 16 per cent in the first six months of 2014 against the same period last year, said the Office for National Statistics. The figure, at £12.83 billion, fell despite the number of visits abroad taken by UK residents rising four per cent to 27.14 million in the first half of this year.

During the first six months of 2014 the pound soared against a number of currencies, including the US dollar and the euro.

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In contrast, January-June spending by foreign residents during trips to the UK, at £8.92bn, is on a par with last year's half-year figure, which led to the 2013 year-end total exceeding £20bn for the first time.

David Edwards, head of research and forecasting at VisitBritain, said: "Tourism is an essential part of the wider success of our economy and these first six months have set us up for what could be another record year for inbound tourism."