According to research from Deloitte and Oxford Economics, the 2012 Olympic Games and the lure of world-renowned attractions is set to see the total value of British tourism rise from £115bn a year to £188bn by 2020.
However, the report states that this figure will only be achieved if certain Government measures are put in place, including co-ordinating marketing for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) who cannot afford to do it themselves, and ensuring the modernisation of hotels and venues retain some original features and authenticity to appeal to older tourists.
Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain who commissioned the research, said that all in all the results were ‘encouraging’.
“It demonstrates that the industry has the power to deliver a huge amount of extra wealth and jobs to Britain in the coming decade,” he said. “This makes it clear that tourism, already Britain’s fifth largest industry and third biggest earner of foreign exchange, is going to be central to the health of the British economy for years to come.
“The continuing low level of the pound and the approaching Olympics in 2012 give us a tremendous opportunity to promote Britain’s attractiveness as a destination to the rest of the world.”
Calls for support
While British tourism is currently booming as the weak pound continues to lure overseas visitors and tempt Britons to holiday at home, there have been calls for the new coalition Government to take tourism more seriously.
Earlier this year the British Hospitality Association called for ‘more support for investment and greater co-ordination of Whitehall policies affecting the industry, particularly in the regulatory area’.