The tourist industry in Britain is worth an estimated 127.9 billion US dollars per year, accounting for 5% of the economy and welcoming 25 million people every year. In other words, it is a hugely important area of business. Although India, South Africa and Germany enjoyed faster rates of tourism growth in 2006, the future for UK tourism is looking rosy in 2007. It seems as though British tourism has never stopped developing since Britain’s beaches first became populated in Victorian times.
However, there are factors discouraging people from visiting Britain in 2007. The exchange rate is not particularly favourable for Japanese and American visitors. Visitors will be affected by increased VISA fees and airline passenger duty. Let’s not forget the continuing terrorist threat at the back of most tourists’ minds, and the unknown effect of the smoking ban and the recently suggested bed tax.
Nevertheless, recent numbers of foreign arrivals are estimated to be 15% up. This surely means that the positive elements outweigh the negative ones. The 2012 Olympic games provide perfect opportunity for tourism and promise high standards of services at relatively low cost The new high-speed rail link for the Channel Tunnel has proved to be a success in bringing visitors more efficiently. The Bollywood Oscars in Bradford, the Tour de France starting in London and the possibility of a royal wedding are sure to bring more attention to Britain. Indeed, the royal wedding brings publicity whether it happens or not.