Report: Tourism Revenue Breaks Records in Britain

Big Ben in LondonFigures from the latest International Passenger Survey (IPS) show inbound tourism has delivered all-time record revenue to Britain over the past 12 months with more visitors than ever before.

The findings from the International Passenger Survey reveal a 6 percent increase in visitor spend to nearly $28.2 billion for the twelve months to May 2012 with incoming holiday visitors over the period reaching a record 12.3 million.

Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, said in a statement that the real challenge still lies ahead. “With the eyes of the world upon us, 2012 provides a unique opportunity to showcase the UK’s extraordinary tourism assets—our culture, our history, our countryside, our food and our world-renowned retail brands.”

Rodrigues noted that while the Games are great exposure, "tourism is a fiercely competitive business and there is no room for complacency."

Other countries, including the U.S., France, China and Spain, are all "raising their game," he continued, with improved visa processing, lower taxes and increasing investment in tourism infrastructure and marketing—"because they understand that in a time of weak economic growth and high unemployment—particularly amongst the young—investing in Tourism is a proven winner—creating jobs, delivering growth and providing significant proven returns on investment. Many of our tourism competitors face even tougher economic conditions than we do—and maybe because of that they are turning to tourism to provide a powerful engine to support recovery."

VisitBritain and its partners will roll out of the next phase of the GREAT marketing campaign immediately after the Games to turn the international coverage into increased visitors.

"We are determined to avoid the post-Games decline that has hurt so many previous major event organizers," Rodrigues said.

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