Despite the badly behaved weather recently, there’s been a lot of love for Britain as a holiday destination in the past few years, and inbound tourism looks set to grow stronger still.
The UK’s official tourist authority VisitBritain predicts a record-breaking 2014 as the government prepares to pledge £90 million to its international GREAT campaign over the next two years and attract more visitors to British shores.
The UK saw a record surge in visitors last year, but VisitBritain is already revealing it expects new tourism heights to be reached in 2014.
The national tourism agency has forecast an increase of nearly 2% in overseas visitor numbers, with record spends of around £21.5 billion to help boost the economy.
Tourism is an important economic contributor to the British economy – despite our unpredictable weather – and the agency also revealed it hopes the volume of visits will return to pre-global financial crisis record levels of 2008, with 32.6 million arrivals in 2014.
Interestingly – and specifically on the timeshare front – a surprisingly high number of timeshare owners choose to own a resort in the UK, so while sunnier destinations such as southern Spain and Portugal are always popular, UK beauty spots like Devon, Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands are firm “getaway favourites”, particularly for shorter breaks. Timeshare is also one of the most economic and “eco” ways to holiday, as resorts do not languish empty “off season” and are used year-round by owners sharing the resort with others and self-catering “home-from-home” style accommodation can really help cut down holiday spending for families on a budget.
Latest figures show that in the first ten months of 2013, the number of visits from overseas was 6 per cent up on the same period of 2012, while visitor spending was up 12 per cent.
VisitBritain says the cash will be spent on marketing Britain internationally, with the potential to generate an extra £200 million of inbound visitor spend.
The GREAT campaign was launched by the Government in September 2011 to capitalise on the Diamond Jubilee and Britain hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
So which nationalities can we expect to be welcoming to our shores in the next one to two years? VisitBritain says it expects to see continued interest in holidays to Britain from tourists in emerging markets, particularly Malaysia, South Korea, China and Mexico.