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Bringing back the Americans

kurt Janson is policy director at Tourism Alliance

London Visitor Charter unveiled

London mayor Boris Johnson has secured the signatures of leisure and tourism businesses as part of a new charter, which aims to ensure fair prices for visitors to the 2012 Games. Te O2 Arena, the Tower


he International Passenger Survey figures for the year to date suggest that inbound tour- ism is starting to recover, with

visitor numbers up 6 per cent since the start of 2011. Most importantly, there are signs of recovery in American inbound figures which have shown an increase of 10 per cent. Te US is the this country’s largest source

of inbound tourism revenue, with visitors spending almost twice as much (£2.1bn per year) than our next largest source market (Germany with £1.2bn per year). In 2010, the UK received 2.67m visitors from the US. If the 10 per cent increase is main- tained through to the end of the year, we will receive an additional 267,000 visitors. Tese additional visitors will contribute £210m more to the UK economy. While this is undoubtedly good news,

it does have to be put into perspective. In 2000, the UK received nearly 4.1m US vis- itors. Since then, numbers fell by 1.4m (34 per cent), so an increase of 267,000 must be seen as only the start of the recovery. Te extent of the problem facing the UK in the US market can be seen by comparing US visitors with total visitor numbers. Terrorist attacks, the second Gulf War

and the global financial crisis have all had an impact on US outbound visitors over the last decade, but the total number still grew by 10 per cent. Now, there is the argu- ment that, as a result of security fears and financial hardship, US residents are taking holidays closer to home. However, US outbound figures show that

while visitor numbers to the UK decreased, US visitor numbers to rest of Europe went up by 300,000. More worryingly, that trend has occurred as the euro increased in value against the dollar by nearly a third; the pound continues to trade at the same level against the dollar it did in 2000. If visitor numbers to Europe grew even

as the cost of holidays there also went up, while decreasing significantly to the UK without cost increases, this suggests a seri- ous underlying problem. Could it be that 2000 was the year that Britain’s marketing


of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court are among the signatories of the new London Visitor Charter, which was launched by the mayor’s promotional agency London and Partners. A number of individual

pubs, bars and restaurants have also signed up to the charter, as well as the New West End Company, Eurostar and minicab firm Addison Lee. Johnson said: “Te London Visitor Charter

Te O2 Arena is one of the leisure firms to sign up to the new initiative

of this drive to tell our guests that London offers great value for money.” Sally Davies, events director at The O2,

demonstrates our determination to offer all our visitors both a great deal as well as a great time. I call on all businesses in the capital’s huge leisure sector to get on board and be part

added: “Te 2012 Games will provide us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase our venue, entertainment district and services to a national and international audience.”

£1m tourism investment for Cornwall’s mining heritage

Cornwall Council has revealed that more than £1m has been invested through the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site’s (WHS) sustain- able rural tourism programme. The first two phases of Discover the Extraordinary development started in early

2010, with 11 WHS partner attractions improv- ing visitor facilities and public presentations. Schemes to benefit in the first phases of the

three-year investment programme included an extended underground tour and new WHS exhibition at Geevor Tin Mine.

Domestic tourism increases in Q1 2011

Te number of domestic over- night trips taken in the UK during the first quarter of 2011 grew by 5 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to VisitEngland. Figures from the tourism

agency also reported a 4 per cent increase in trips taken in England for the period, while visits to English attractions were up by 7 per cent. The increase generated

more than £170m further spend for the UK, with overall growth for the quarter com- ing from increased volumes in January and February. A spokesperson for VisitEngland said:

“During March, there were 8 million domes- tic tourism trips in Great Britain, an 8 per cent decrease from 8.7 million last year. Tis could

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Te number of visits to English tourist attractions was up by 7 per cent

in part be due to the Easter Holidays starting later in April this year compared to 2010 when, in some regions, they started in March, and the prospect of a double bank holiday.”

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2011

image: zakgollop

image: dubassy/

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