Tourism Forecast ’14
Written by Marliese Andexer 18 / 06 / 2014
2014 has already shown titanic foreign visitor figures in the first three months and VisitBritain have forecast another record breaking summer for the British tourism trade. So much so, they have pledged another £90million to the international GREAT campaign.
This time last year, VisitBritain announced that 2013 would be huge for tourism. A year later – here we are again with the national tourism agency predicting an increase of nearly 2% in overseas visitor numbers. They believe this will result in a massive spend of £21.5billion in 2014. All being well, this will be a return to the record high visiting figures in 2008, pre-global financial crisis. Due to these promising figures, the Government has granted a further £90million to the GREAT campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the UK’s cultural and educational assets internationally, for 2014 – 2015. £45million is being allocated each year – a considerable increase to the £30million the campaign received in 2013. “Government investment in the millions will bring tourism returns in the billions. This year is set to be a record – it just goes to show what can be achieved with a clear strategy and cooperation across all the major Government agencies promoting Britain overseas.” – Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive VisitBritain Some concerns have been raised regarding the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and if it will have a negative effect on UK visitor numbers. However, the Brazilian market itself only represents 1% of total British demand and experts feel potential visitors will not be tempted away to the Southern Americas by klaxons and mindless chanting. Furthermore, Visit Britain released a study at the end of 2013 revealing that theatre brings in over twice as many international visitors per year than sporting events. Approximately 2.8 million overseas visits included a trip to the theatre, a musical, opera or the ballet where only 1.3 million attended a live sporting event. This cultural bunch represents 14% of all foreign visitors. Even more promisingly, theatre tourists spend, on average, £983 per person – much higher than the £600 average. Other emerging markets are also showing strong growth, particularly Malaysia, South Korea, China and Mexico. Commentators say this is partly down to the ever improving British international transport infrastructure. With new flight routes from Chengdu, Beijing, Maila and Jakarta, recent improvements in the Chinese visa process and Heathrow taking delivery of the new supersized Airbus A380, the UK’s busiest airport will be processing thousands of visitors from further afield on a daily basis. “Millions of people flock to British shores every year and our tourist attractions are world class. Tourism is a key plank of our economy, helping to drive growth and promoting Britain on the world stage. After a record 2013, we want to do even better in 2014 and that’s why we are committing an additional £90 million to our fantastic GREAT campaign – to showcase the very best of Britain in key international markets, encouraging visitors to come and experience it for themselves.” – Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism
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