Visitor numbers to the UK are expected to increase by 3 percent in 2013, according to VisitBritain, the official tourism website for Great Britain, as it reviewed the tourism industry for the past year.
The 2012 Annual Review of Visit Britain reported that inbound tourism is the nation’s third major generator of foreign exchange. In the last year, tourism has contributed £18.7 billion to the UK economy, recording a 5 percent increase over the previous year. A record number of people, around 12 million international visitors, have visited Britain for a vacation in past six months.
Overseas visitors have contributed £503 million to the UK economy in 2011-12, with a 3 percent increase in overseas tourist volume, and 8 percent in value since May 2010.
The chairman of VisitBritain, Christopher Rodrigues, said, ‘This country’s tourism offer is about much more than growth in visitor numbers. Tourism offers not just jobs but careers for life. It employs young people who are now in training to become Ambassadors for Britain, welcoming visitors to their hotels, attractions and shops – taking on the mantle of the Games Makers.
Tourism is also a key contributor to a country’s image overseas – it influences not just whether people come for a week’s holiday but also what they think of us as a nation, whether they choose to invest in British business and whether they relocate their families to live here and their companies to operate here. Tourism is soft power in action.
2012 has shown just what Britain can offer. It has re-energised our image overseas and triggered the desire to visit our country. Our job now is to turn aspiration into action.
And the best way to do that is to continue the exceptional levels of collaboration between the industry, the public sector and the Government that we saw in 2012. We also need to keep the extraordinary spirit of the Games Makers alive in our visitor welcome.’