After completing a successful 2012 Olympic campaign, VisitBritain, the official tourism website for Great Britain, is strengthening its growth strategy for promoting the UK as a tourist destination.
The agency is hopeful of attracting around 40 million visitors by 2020, a 3 percent increase year on year, which is expected to generate GBP8.7 billion in additional foreign exchange to the country, and create around 200,000 more jobs. The agency is currently in a consultation with various other agencies, and public organisations to decide how to make the country more tourist friendly.
Christopher Rodrigues, the chairman of VisitBritain, said, ‘This summer has shown what the country can do when we are united in a common cause. This country showed passion, professionalism, drive and energy to stage the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games. The test now is whether we can maintain this to create wealth and jobs through a major tourism drive.
This consultation with the industry, the public agencies and multiple Government departments that care about tourism and impact on its success has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships. International tourism is a growth industry but the global marketplace is getting tougher as other countries have recognised the potential of the sector. Britain can succeed if we focus – aligning priorities, investment and activity.
Tourism is the industry that can deliver the economic legacy of the 2012 Games. It is an industry that can deliver jobs quickly – right across Britain and at all skills levels – and much needed economic growth. Every GBP40,000 spent by overseas visitors to Britain can create a new job. International tourism is our third-largest earner of foreign exchange and contributed GBP3.1 billion to the nation’s coffers directly in taxation in 2011.’
Currently the UK welcomes 31 million global visitors every year from across the world, earning around GBP115 billion a year from tourism. Tourism is a major part of the UK economy, responsible for supporting around 2.6 million jobs.