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UK tourist numbers spend record £18.2bn | Immigration Matters

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New figures from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) show an increased number of inbound tourism, which has delivered record revenue to Britain over the past 12 months.

More holiday visitors and UK tourists than ever before visited the country, leading to a 6% increase in spend to £18.2bn for the 12 months to May 2012.

Visit Britain has claimed the numbers as a success for the recent GREAT campaign, broadcast across the globe.

VisitBritain Chairman Christopher Rodrigues looked forward to the Olympics as a means to build on this success.

He said: “This is a Gold Medal winning performance by the British Tourism industry just before the opening of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – but the real challenge lies ahead as our global competitors raise their game in response to the job creation opportunity offered by the tourism industry.

“With the eyes of the world upon us, 2012 provides a unique opportunity to showcase the UK’s extraordinary tourism assets – our culture, our history, our countryside, our food and our world-renowned retail brands.

“The GREAT campaign has already carried that message to 90 million residents in 14 of the world’s leading cities and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee provided the world with a taster of what Britain has to offer.  

“Now, with an expected global TV audience of over 4 billion viewers watching this year’s Olympics, we are ready to showcase Britain to the world, encouraging past visitors from our traditional markets in North America and Europe to visit us again and putting ourselves front-of-mind in the rapidly growing tourism markets of Asia, the Middle East, Latin and South America by reaching out to countries like Brazil and to high spending markets like China.

“The Games provide a wonderful platform, but tourism is a fiercely competitive business and there is no room for complacency.

“The real challenge comes after the Games. Our major competitors, which include the USA, France, China and Spain are all raising their game with improved visa processing, lower taxes and increasing investment in tourism infrastructure and marketing because they understand that in a time of weak economic growth and high unemployment – particularly amongst the young – investing in Tourism is a proven winner – creating jobs, delivering growth and providing significant proven returns on investment.”

See also:

London Heathrow’s immigration desks will be manned during Olympics for easy access for low-risk visitors

UKBA to bring back checks on overseas students’ ability but will the government remove them from net migration targets?

Chinese students and tourists attracted by weak Sterling Pound and Euro

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