Attractions industry news
14 Aug 2012
Hunt: London 2012 effect to 'turbo charge' UK tourism
Image: Jeremy Hunt announced the new tourism strategy today
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the successful hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games has boosted the nation's reputation as a destination and will 'turbo charge' inbound tourism to the UK.
Announcing the government's new tourism strategy at London's Tate Modern this morning (14 August), Hunt said a new target has been set to increase overseas visitors from the current 30 million to 40 million by 2020.
Hunt said he is also looking to set up a regular event to follow from the success of the London 2012 Festival - an arts festival that included 12,000 performances and events across the UK.
He said: "Following success of London 2012 Festival, I've commissioned a report on feasibility of a London or UK biennale. We must use this extraordinary year to turbo-charge our tourism industry and create jobs and prosperity.
Hunt also revealed some of the government's spending plans on tourism. He said: "We're continuing the GREAT campaign next year with an £8m focus on China. We'll also invest a further £2m in a follow-up domestic tourism campaign next year."
Sandie Dawe, CEO of tourism agency VisitBritain, welcomed the speech. In a statement, she said: "International tourism already delivers £18bn each year to the economy.
"Reaching the stated target of 40 million visits a year by 2020 would deliver £21bn additional spend and support for 530,000 additional jobs across Britain.
"This is rightly a stretching ambition and reaching it will need world-class marketing working hand in hand with government policy and a committed tourism industry."
To read the full DCMS statement on the new tourism strategy,click here.
• Hunt's speech comes on the same day as research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published the results of a study into inbound tourism during the two-week Olympic Games period.
The majority (59 per cent) of visitors to London surveyed by PwC during the Games had come because of the Olympic games and 99 per cent of those polled said they would return in the future.
Aside from the Games, tourists rated the city's heritage sites such as Buckingham Palace as their best experience, followed by the people.
Museums came third, despite reports that these have been emptier than usual over the period, with the city's atmosphere fourth and its parks in fifth place.