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Weak pound could boost UK tourism

12 December 2008

Hospitality operators have been urged to take advantage of the weakening value of the pound to boost UK tourism.

Due to the falling value of sterling, British tourists visiting some European destinations are paying up to a third more for hotel rooms and food.

Kurt Janson, policy director at the Tourism Alliance, revealed that, along with VisitBritain, the industry body is lobbying the Government to put funding into an 'Explore Britain' marketing campaign in the New Year.

"The booking period for the summer market is March to April next year so we need to act very quickly on this," he told Caterersearch. "There's a growing awareness - with everyone cutting back on expenditure - that it's a very good time to market Britain as a budget option.

"It's an opportunity for the sector to be cushioned from the continuing economic downturn next year," Janson added. "We now have a competitive advantage which means we'll be able to ride it out better than other destinations."

Robin Bidgood, chief executive of Tate Catering, which caters at popular tourist locations such as the various Tate galleries and Somerset House, said he is already noticing the trend.

"At the moment we're seeing a lot of tourists coming from Europe due to the great exchange rate for the euro against the pound," he told Caterersearch.

Government must take ‘decisive action' to save tourism, industry body warns >>

Tourism industry needs needs to focus on growing economies >>

Will new markets replace the absent US tourists? >>

Tourism Alliance hits out at Olympic trip after cutting VisitBritain job cuts >>

Daily Telegraph: European hotel rates rise for British travellers >>

By Rosie Birkett

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