Comment: “Britain is open for business – and for pleasure.” Rob Russell, AC Group boss, page 9

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London shuts attraction

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Piccadilly Circus, London, has closed. A message on the attraction’s

website said: “After many years at Piccadilly Circus, thank you.” It continued: “We are

relocating our Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. “We want to thank the community and guests who have made our stay here memorable. “Ripley’s looks forward to opening a new attraction in London in the near future.” The statement adds that parent company Ripley

Entertainment Inc. has more than 100 attractions around the world, with its Odditoriums offering the chance to view strange objects and artefacts. Customers with pre-ordered

tickets are asked to contact the company online at londonbion for a refund or email LondonCustomerSupport@ The company’s Ripley’s

Believe It or Not! attraction at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

remains open.

‘Value of tourism can more than double in a decade’

A workforce skills campaign is one of the key areas for the tourism’s bid to be at the top of the government’s agenda. The industry is lobbying for a

sector deal under the government’s Industrial Strategy, and a recent Tourism Industry Council meeting approved the list of priorities. As well as a skills campaign,

priorities include: � boosting productivity by extending the tourism season year-round; � increasing global market share in business visits and events sectors; � making it easier to explore the UK; � creating ‘tourism zones’ to build quality tourism products. Steve Ridgway (pictured), British

Tourist Authority chairman, said: “Tourism is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy; is one of our most valuable export industries and a job creator right across Britain and is already showing strong growth. “There is potential to more

than double the value of this industry to £268 billion within a decade, increase employment to 3.8 million and boost productivity.” Britain saw a record 23.1 million inbound visits from January to July

2017, but is outspent by competitors and losing global market share. Overseen by the BTA, the tourism

sector deal bid will be submitted to ministers in the coming weeks. It was drawn up after consultation

with the industry. Certain sectors already have a

deal, including the automotive, life sciences, industry 4:0, creative and nuclear industries. Key areas of policy and government support are now being developed. strategy-tourism

October 2017 | TravelGBI 5

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