Britain’s weak pound is expected to drive an increase in tourism over 2010 with visitors to the UK predicted to spend more than £17bn, although the trading environment will remain ‘challenging’.
Figures released by the VisitBritain and the International Passenger Survey suggests the UK may see an increase in the volume of inbound tourism of 0.8 per cent to 30.4m, plus a rise in visitor spend of 4 per cent on last year.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain, said that although the figures show signs of recovery for the tourism industry, 2010 would continue to present challenges.
“Our forecasts suggest that whilst the prolonged weakness in the value of sterling will result in a stronger performance, particularly in visitor spend, 2010 will not see record numbers of inbound visitors or visitor spend,” she said.
“These figures suggest that Britain’s tourism is now heading back in the right direction and whilst conditions will still be tough, we believe that the exchange rate will make Britain attractive and offer exceptional value for the new year.”
Opportunities and challenges
While VisitBritain believe a growing demand for business travel and attractive sport and leisure events held in the UK will help drive tourism to Britain, the agency expects challenges such as a more competitive environment and the financial instability of some airlines to hinder the industry’s growth.
VisitBritain has now announced a trio of three-year global campaigns, under the themes of Classic, Dynamic and Luxury, that encompass traditional Britishness, youth and high revenue markets, to help drive tourism to the UK.