2012 Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee to help push UK visitor numbers to 30 million in 2012

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Diamond jubilee, United kingdom, Visitbritain

The 2012 Olympics are expected to help push up visitor numbers next year
The 2012 Olympics are expected to help push up visitor numbers next year
Key events such as the 2012 Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee could push up the number of visitors to the UK to 30 million next year according to VisitBritain as it delivers its predictions for 2012.

The events next summer are expected to help maintain visitor numbers and boost the economy by an estimated £17.6bn in a year that will no doubt be affected by a rocky global economy.

“While these figures are in line with expected numbers in 2011, maintaining current visitor levels would be a good outcome in a year that is proving difficult to predict due to the current global economic climate and the impact this may have in many of our key markets," said VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe.

“We are currently on track to see a record number of holiday visits to the UK this year, which suggests that our appeal as a destination remains strong; this level of interest is something we hope to build on as we head in to 2012."

2012 Olympics

Hospitality and tourism bosses hope that the 2012 Olympics will be a chance to show the world what the UK has to offer and act as a draw for successive years.

“2012 gives us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Britain in a way that we have never had before, allowing us to revitalise our appeal in mature markets and help us get Britain on the destination wish list of first time visitors from growth markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia," said Dawe, whose organisation has focused on attracting visitors from across the globe through its GREAT Britain - You're Invited marketing programme.

“VisitBritain is working hard to ensure that the Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will generate positive PR for Britain, taking advantage of the global interest to increase tourism numbers in the years ahead and creating a lasting tourism legacy for the future,” she said.

Although visitor numbers are expected to be maintained next year, VisitBritain predicts that the levels of corporate travel will remain low.

"There is some risk this could decline further if there was an economic slowdown as companies usually put in place measures to kerb travel costs," added Dawe.

Domestic tourism

While the number of overseas visitors are expected to increase next year, latest figures from England's marketing board VisitEngland, show that domestic tourism or the 'staycation' trend is showing no signs of abating.

From January to August this year the number of overnight holiday trips in England increased by 4 per cent with holiday spend growing by 12 per cent.

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford said: “It is heartening that the number of people choosing to take a holiday in England remains above pre-recession levels. It is vital that we continue to work very hard together to maintain this trend as we approach one of the most potentially exciting years.”

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