A VisitBritain-commissioned report which predicted that UK tourism revenue would grow by more than 60% by 2020 has been dismissed as "fantasy" by a leading trade body.
The report, released last week by professional services firm Deloitte and Oxford Economics, suggested the total value of tourism to the UK could rise by more than 60% to £188b over the next decade.
The favourable exchange rate, the lure of the 2012 Olympics and the appeal of UK tourist attractions, should ensure the sector grows at an above-average 3.5% per annum between now and 2020, it said.
But UKinbound has warned that this is a "rosy image of the future which ignores the real threats which are currently causing decline not growth in visitor numbers".
Mary Rance, chief executive of UKinbound said: "We do not dispute the real potential for substantial growth in inbound tourism, but this potential will pale into insignificance if there are no plans to increase capacity and to address urgently the real barriers to growth.
"With no plans to increase capacity at Heathrow or any other London airport and in the absence of a strategy to restore the competitiveness of the UK as a destination, it is fantasy to suggest that such huge growth is attainable."
Value of tourism could rise to £188b in 10 years >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/07/23/334383/Value-of-tourism-could-rise-to-163188b-in-10-years.htm)
[Research shows the UK could gain a £2b tourism legacy from the Olympics >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/03/19/332671/research-shows-the-uk-could-gain-a-2b-tourism-legacy-from-the-olympics.htm)
By Daniel Thomas
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