A total of 50 British organisations will be participating in the 'Destination Britain' trade event which will involve business appointments and seminars about how to tap into the high-spending Russian market following on from what was a successful 2012 for the tourism industry.
The delegation includes national and regional tourism boards, city and tourist attraction promotion organisations, travel agencies, hotel groups and specialist tour operators.
“In 2011 we saw a promising 24 per cent increase in the number of Russian visitors,” said Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s director of strategy & communications. “That growth has continued into 2012, with provisional data showing a 3 per cent rise in arrivals up to September.
“It’s our ambition to welcome 370,000 Russian visitors a year by 2020. This mission will help foster relations with key trade who can help us to achieve that goal, putting British businesses in front of decision makers and generating growth from what is a traditionally high-spending market.”
Over 210,000 Russians visited Britain in 2011, spending an average £1,450 per visit – nearly triple the average global spend. A recent Nations Brand Index survey of the top 50 nations in the world found that that Russia was largely positive towards Britain, ranking Britain within the top five for culture and tourism.
Yates added: “The massive exposure Britain has enjoyed in 2012 has helped put us front of mind as a destination, and we are encouraged by the recent NBI survey which has seen us improve our standing among Russians, with two-thirds of those surveyed indicating that the London 2012 Games had increased their interest in visiting Britain for a holiday.”
VisitBritain claims that 2013 has an ‘abundance of opportunities to entice more Russian visitors to Britain’. Events such as the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the opening of The Shard, the Year of Natural Scotland and the arrival of a royal baby are all expected to be a draw for tourists.
Over 40 works of art from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg will also be taken to Britain later this year for an exhibition at Houghton Hall in Norfolk.
The hospitality businesses attending Destination Britain include: -
- Apex Hotels
- Bateaux London
- Camelot Tours
- Corinthia Hotel London
- Fortnum and Mason
- Jumeirah Carlton Tower & Jumeriah Lowndes Hotel
- Keith Prowse Corporate Hospitality
- Millennium Hotels
- Morgans Hotel Group
- Park International & Best Western The Cromwell
- Red Carnation Hotels
- Rocco Forte Hotel
- Taj Hotels
- The Balmoral Hotel
- The Goring
- The May Fair
- The Westbury
- Wyndham Grand Hotel