The UK expects to welcome some 36.7 million foreign visitors in 2016, and anticipates an increase in the tourism revenue of 4.2% compared to 2015.
VisitBritain predicts a sharp rise in spending by foreign visitors in 2016. The UK tourism revenue should reach GBP 23 billion (+ 4.2% compared to 2015), according to a recent press release, for the approximately 36.7 million visitors expected (+ 3.8% compared to 2015).
The tourism board emphasizes the importance of a number of events and anniversaries that should attract a great amount of visitors.
Among these events is the Year of the English Garden and the tercentenary of the birth of Capability Brown, famous British landscape architect. Wales will be celebrating the Year of Adventure, with multiple sports, culinary and literary activities, while Northern Ireland will offer the best of its kitchen with the Year of Gastronomy. Scotland will highlight its present and future heritage with the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
"2016 will also be a great year for the arts with a considerable number of anniversaries," said the VisitBritain spokesperson.
Among the most notable dates are:
- The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, along with events, exhibitions, and shows in his hometown of Stratford upon Avon
- The centenary of the birth of the Roald Dahl at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire or in Cardiff, the hometown of Dahl
- The anniversary of the births of Charlotte Brontë (200 years) and Beatrix Potter (150 years)
- The 20th anniversary of the Spice Girls, the iconic pop group
- Musical anniversaries for Tom Jones, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Lulu, Bananarama, Englebert Humperdinck and Little Mix, among others.
2016 will also see the opening of the National Museums of Scotland (10 new exhibition spaces devoted to science, art and design), the new Tate Modern in June and the opening of the play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child "at the theatre in the West End in July.
With these forecasts, VisitBritain hopes to achieve its goal of increasing the number of visits by 20% to 42 million for 2020 (or GBP 4.5 billion of additional tourism revenue).