UK industry leaders in the tourism sector are pleased with recent record inbound tourism figures. However, they have also reiterated calls for adjustments on high visa costs as well as Air Passenger Duties.
According to official numbers, foreign traveler figures to the UK increased by around 34.8 million last year with overall spending up by 21.7 billion pounds. Of particular interest were arrivals from the United States, which remains the most valuable source market for the inbound tourism industry. According to the data, U.S. arrivals increased by around 3.7 million, which is considered the best increase since 2008.
Aside from the obvious economic advantages, the increase in tourism figures also involves several political gains, particularly for prime minister David Cameron, whose forecast of welcoming 40 million tourists per year by the year 2020, is well on track, especially if the 6% growth rate could be sustained indefinitely.
Experts in UKinbound added their thoughts on the matter, particularly in relations to Air Passenger Duties and high visa costs. They argued that by removing such market barriers, visitor numbers could double by 2020, allowing Britain to become a market leader in tourism by 2020. The UK inbound-tourism industry has been gaining a lot of positive gains in recent years, but sustainable support is also needed in order to maintain the market's momentum.
This support, UKinbound argues, will have to come in the form of reforming UK taxation and visa systems. If implemented then the inbound tourism industry could potentially double by the end of the decade. At present, however, Britain is already achieving its second consecutive annual record, with further growth forecasts throughout 2015. So there's a lot of room for growth.
This confirms that the tourism strategy is working and helps to highlight to impressive role of the industry in the UK's long term economic growth. Experts are currently working out ways to maintain this growth for the foreseeable future.