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August 18, 2017

Tourism to the U.K. has soared in 2017, thanks in part to the falling value of the pound compared to the euro and the dollar.

The country saw a 20 percent jump in the period between April and June, corresponding to a record 10.75 million visitors, The Independent reported. It was the strongest quarter for tourism since record keeping began in 1980.

North American visitors in particular surged to the U.K., according to the Office of National Statistics, with the number of visitors from this region increasing by 29 percent.

Leading up to and in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016, financial uncertainty caused the pound to tumble, dropping around 30 percent against the euro over the past two years, BBC reported.

The dropping currency might be good news for local businesses, however, as spending has gone up among tourists.

“Very often people budget in their own currency. They're getting more pounds for their money, and we can see their spend going up,” Patricia Yates of VisitBritain told BBC.

With the dollar strong against the pound, there has never been a better time for U.S. residents to travel to the U.K. London is a great destination for food, shopping and museums, but Great Britain has plenty more to offer outside of the capital city.

Visitors can explore unique activities like snorkeling in Scotland, or sampling gin from distilleries in England. Intrepid travelers can take a boat to the outermost region of the isles to visit the UNESCO site of St. Kilda, a group of abandoned islands made up of steep cliffs and rich animal life.

“Game of Thrones” tourism has also given the region a boost, and fans of the HBO show can visit Northern Ireland, where many of the northern scenes are filmed. Castle Ward in Northern Ireland is even transforming itself into Winterfell for a festival starting September 24.

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