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Dome could bring in £500m from overseas

01 January 2000
Dome could bring in £500m from overseas

By Angela Frewin

The Millennium Dome could boost foreign tourism revenue by up to £500m, says a new report - even though some businesses are worried it will take trade away from them.

The study by the English Tourist Board claims the Dome will attract 12 million visitors in 2000, including three million from overseas who would bring in an extra £300m-£500m.

But 10% of tourist attractions in London and the South-east are worried it might eat into their share of business, despite the fact that London is expected to benefit from an extra one million bednights from foreign visitors.

While the report found little evidence of concern elsewhere - in fact 36% outside the South-east thought the Dome would boost their business - the Welsh expressed some anxiety.

Dewi Davies, managing director of North Wales Tourism, feared the pull of the Dome would make it even harder for Wales to attract overseas tourists. But he suspected much of the displacement of trade would be within London, with attractions such as the Tower of London and museums the likely losers.

Chris Collier, chief executive of the Cumbria Tourist Board, believed the impact, if any, would be greatest on other city destinations and areas within easy reach of London. There was less concern in the Lake District, she said, because it was the best-known brand outside London and what it offered was so different.

Phil King, president of the Bournemouth Hotels and Restaurants Association, believed the South Coast would benefit from additional day-trippers.

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