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TOURISM Jenkins to front tourism drive

International singing star Katherine Jenkins will lead a renewed drive to attract overseas visitors to Britain, serving as the fi gurehead for VisitBritain’s (VB) upcoming Countryside is GREAT campaign. In the lead-up to the tourism agen-

cy’s Countryside campaign launching in September, Jenkins will collaborate on a range of projects showcasing the best of the UK’s culture and heritage. T e Welsh songstress will perform at a

VB-organised festival in Istanbul next month as part of its push promote the UK as a hub of culture and creativity. She will also be tour- ing the UK giving countryside outdoor concerts throughout the middle of 2014, with interna- tional appearances in the USA also scheduled. “Britain off ers overseas visitors a place alive

T e Welsh songstress will promote Britain’s countryside

with culture and blessed with stunning scenic beauty for all to enjoy,” said Jenkins. “I’m look- ing forward to working with VisitBritain and the GREAT Britain Campaign to bring the best of Britain to the rest of the world.” Jenkins’ arrival as the face of the new campaign

to push the British countryside will be welcome news for the British Hospitality Association (BHA), which recently called on new culture secretary Sajid Javid to help revive Britain’s ail- ing regional tourism spots (see below). Jenkins joins an illustrious list of Britain’s

top talent to have worked with the GREAT Britain Campaign – including Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, Lewis Hamilton, Sir Richard Branson and Dame Vivienne Westwood. Details:

Latest fi gures show record month for tourism spend

International visitors spent a record £1.5bn in Britain in February 2014 representing a 45 per cent increase on February last year, accord- ing to the Offi ce for National Statistics (ONS). In what is traditionally one of the qui- eter months, the number of visits was also

up nine per cent in February 2014, with hol- iday trips posting double digit growth (25 per cent). Visitors from Europe were the main driver of the overall visits growth, fol- lowed closely by ‘rest of world’ markets. Details:

Tourism chiefs urge Sajid Javid to act fast

Sajid Javid’s appointment as culture secre- tary has been welcomed by the hospitality and tourism sector, with industry lead- ers describing him as the “big hitter” the department needs, but warning that there is plenty more work to be done. Javid has been thrust into the limelight since

replacing Maria Miller in mid-April, demon- strating his ability to answer tough questions with a solid performance on the BBC’s Question Time, and tourism chiefs are hopeful that these wits can be used to help lead a resurgence of Britain’s regional hospitality hotspots. Recent figures showed London and the

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LET US QUOTE YOU Sajid Javid faces a tough task in solving tourism issues

south east of England accounted for two- fi ſt hs of all annual tourism spending in the UK in 2011 with regional towns lagging, partly due to increasing competition from their European rivals in luring British holidaymakers. T e British Hospitality Association has said

small and medium-sized businesses across the country are under increasing pressure. T e growth


in staycations over the last four years is now under threat from the renewed popularity of trips abroad. Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) fi gures

reveal domestic trips fell by over 3 million in 2013, while spending fell to £23.3bn, an £682m decline on 2012, with regions outside London suff ering the most. Details:

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