According to VisitBritain's International Passenger Survey (IPS), more than eight million international business visitors travelled to the UK in the 12 months to June 2014, equating to a 5% increase year-on-year.
The business visitor sector has grown consistently throughout 2014 and is said to be a key contributor to the visitor economy. The five per cent lift in business figures reaches just short of pre-2008 levels.
The survey, which captures data on travelling passengers in and out of UK transport hubs, shows that business visits to the UK in the first half of this year also rose by 2% to more than four million people. With the International Festival for Business and London Tech Week taking place in June 2014, the UK saw an increase of 6% on the previous year to 7.5 million people, setting a new June record.
Michael Hirst, chairman of the business visits & events partnership (BVEP), commented: "Events are a big driver of the business visits sector and continue to make a massive contribution to the UK visitor economy.
"June has been a record month for the sector, and again shows that business events can drive footfall throughout the year."