The chairman of hotel group Jurys Inns will today challenge the UK tourism industry to present a "cleverly-fashioned, compelling and positive face for the country to the rest of the world" in the run up to 2012 Olympics.
Industry leaders have criticised the Government for not supporting tourism with extra funding ahead of the Games, but Barbara Cassani is expected to argue that "tourism doesn't need bailouts but a compelling story to tell the rest of the world why it should visit".
In a speech at the UKinbound
"Are we giving second- or third-time visitors reasons to return to the UK?" she will ask.
Cassani is expected to urge the UK tourism industry to respond creatively to the fact visitor markets are changing with fewer Americans (down 10%), more Eastern Europeans (up 12%) and potentially huge future growth from China and India (100 million new travellers by 2020).
She will also confirm that Jurys Inns plans to create 1,100 jobs in 11 new hotels it has committed to build in 2009 and 2010.
By Daniel Thomas
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