According to VisitBritain, inbound tourist spend will increase 4.5 per cent to £22.2 billion in 2015, almost £1 billion more than is thought to have been spent during 2014 and as a result, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said tourism was now a major driver of economic growth for Britain.
“The Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee gave us a great platform to showcase the best of Britain but we didn’t stop there and have kept up the momentum in the last two years,” he said. “Britain has so much to offer tourists with our stunning countryside, great heritage and world class sport and culture. Working closely with the tourism industry we will continue to champion the UK abroad as part of our long term economic plan.”
Hospitality businesses located next to heritage hotspots, such as Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle and Stonehenge are expected to benefit most with inbound tourists putting them within their top five must-sees.
Other attractions outside of London riding high in the top attractions lists include Chester Zoo, the National Railway Museum in York, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyards and the Tate Museum in St Ives.
VisitBritain said its GREAT marketing campaign and a simplified visa system, particularly for Chinese visitors were among the reasons for such expected strong growth.
Chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “Tourism will continue to be one of the country’s major export earners with VisitBritain playing a critical role in its success. One of our priorities for 2015 will be to inspire international visits to the nations and regions and showcase Britain’s magnificent countryside.
“Our GREAT campaign continues to produce results and generated at least £1.8 billion from inbound visitors in its first three years, creating economic value and jobs across Britain’s tourism businesses.”
Tourism chiefs Sandie Dawe, who left VisitBritain last year, and VisitScotland chairman David Cantlay and were among those recognised by the Queen in the 2015 New Years Honours list.