We have been set up as a strategic response to the challenges and opportunities facing UK tourism. Growth in world tourism continues and is predicted to be reflected in visitors to the UK. Tourism is the UK’s third largest service export. In 2012, international tourist arrivals worldwide exceeded one billion for the first time and this figure is projected to exceed 1.5 billion by 2020. Since 2010, significant progress has been made, with the launch of the Government’s tourism policy and the GREAT campaign.
Inbound visits to the UK rose to 32.813 million in 2013 and spending by inbound visitors was £21.012 billion. Both these figures were records. In 2013 the number of inbound visitors to England was 11.5% higher than in 2010 and almost 5% higher than in 2008.
In London, the figures rose by over 14% compared with 2010 and just under 14% compared with 2008. However, for the rest of England outside London the numbers were almost 8.5% higher than in 2010 but over 4% lower than in 2008. The figures for Scotland showed an increase of 3.6% compared with 2010 but a decline of just under 2% compared with 2008. In Wales the figures showed declines of almost 0.7% compared with 2010 and 17% compared with 2008.
Overseas tourists are coming. Now is the time to refresh our offer to well-known markets like the US, Canada, Australia and the EU. And we should make the new markets ours, attracting a share of the fast-growing China market especially.
The Difference we make: