89 per cent rise in Chinese visitors predicted as ‘BRIC' and European tourism grow

Thursday 16, September 2010


89 per cent rise in Chinese visitors predicted as ‘BRIC' and European tourism grow


The number of tourists visiting the UK from the fast-growing ‘BRIC' economies - Brazil, Russia, India and China – is set to leap, according to a new report from VisitBritain.


Visitors from China, for example, are predicted to rise by 89 per cent, bringing just under an extra 100,000 travellers to these shores, by 2014, the fastest increase in tourism to the UK from any country.


The forecast comes in a wide-ranging 60-page analysis of the state and prospects of UK tourism `Overseas Visitors to Britain, Understanding Trends, Attitudes and Characteristics" published on 13 September).


While the bulk of the increase in tourism to Britain over the next four years will continue to come from the UK`s traditional European and North American markets, the speed with which tourism from the BRICs, where VisitBritain has devoted major efforts, is exciting.


The report connects the increase in Chinese tourism with the growing popularity of English Premier League Games which are drawing weekly audiences of millions in the Far Eastern country. China is just one place in the league table of UK tourism source nations behind Brazil - which is itself expected to send 18 per cent more tourists, (about 35,000 people), to the UK over the same period.


Meanwhile, tourism from India – where Premier David Cameron took a high powered delegation of six Cabinet Ministers this summer - is forecast to grow by 29 per cent, with over 100,000 extra visits. Visitors from Russia are expected to jump by 24 per cent, with 50,000 more people sampling British hospitality.


Although the acceleration among emerging nations is impressive, the largest numbers of new visitors will come from


France, Ireland, the USA, Germany and Spain – the UK`s traditional top five markets for visitors. Together they are forecast to send a substantial 3.3 million more visitors to Britain between them by 2014.


Ireland, which was the second largest market in 2008, is expected to fall to fourth in the rankings by 2014 despite 18 per cent growth, while there is expected to be faster growth from the USA (30 per cent) and Germany (29%). France is expected to remain top of the visits league, growing by 12 per cent.


Elsewhere, the report gives a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by the British tourism industry, outlines latest trends among tourists, delivers a snapshot of what foreign tourists like to do while here and provides forecasts for future growth. The outlook comes after we welcomed 1.2 million fewer American visitors than in the record year of 2000, and that in the first seven months of this year visits from North America were down by 6 per cent.


The report stresses that the forecasts for increased inbound tourism depend on there being no new limits to airport capacity, no new visa regulations, no "external shocks" and the continuation of worldwide promotional campaigns by VisitBritain and its strategic partners.


VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "This in-depth research shows that over the next few years the prospects for the UK tourism industry should be positive. Visitor numbers overall were down by 6% last year, due largely to a sharp drop in international business travel. But, thanks to a good deal of hard work, we were still able to grow the inbound holiday tourism market by 5 per cent, outperforming many European competitors. The challenge for Britain is that competition is getting tougher every year and we are not immune from Government demands for savings. But with the aid of the once in a lifetime boost presented by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games I am confident that we will come through the challenges ahead."





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