NEW figures released by VisitBritain reveal a sharp rise in the number of overseas visitors travelling to Wiltshire for their summer holiday in 2013.

The figures show the county’s tourist industry grew at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country, with visits up 48 per cent from July to September last year.

The tourism business is booming in Salisbury with significant increases in overseas visitors.

The biggest increase was amongst Australian holiday makers with visitor numbers up 133 per cent (from 3000 in 2012 to 7,000 in 2013) The number of German holidaymakers in Salisbury increased by 40 per cent and there was a 67 per cent increase in the number of Dutch visitors to the city.

And there were 4,000 French holiday visitors to Salisbury in 2013, more than Manchester, Aberdeen or Liverpool.

Overall for the whole of 2013, Wiltshire saw a 14 per cent increase in international holiday visits; up from 100,000 in 2012 to 114,000 in 2013. They spent £30million between them.

Chief executive of VisitWiltshire, David Andrews, said: “We are delighted to see the continued upward trend in visitor numbers to the county. “Working closely with our partners, VisitWiltshire is ensuring the county, and all it has to offer, is well and truly on the world map. We’re delighted our efforts at targeting key international markets, for example hosting 100 key international press and travel trade representatives from markets including France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Australia, China, Russia, Canada and USA, are already paying off.

“With our unrivalled combination of a World Heritage Site, unique visitor attractions, top class restaurants, bustling cities, market towns and stunning countryside, Wiltshire is a great destination for international visitors of all ages and interests,” he added.