The number of visitors to Britain in 2012 and the amount they spend are expected to mirror the figures for this year, according to VisitBritain's forecast.
About 30.7m visitors, spending some £17.6b, are expected to come to Britain in 2012. VisitBritain's chief executive, Sandie Dawe said that maintaining current visitor levels would be a good outcome in a year that is proving difficult to predict due to the current global economic climate.
"We are currently on track to see a record number of holiday visits to the UK this year, which suggests that our appeal as a destination remains strong; this level of interest is something we hope to build on as we head in to 2012," she explained.
"The business traveller market however remains some way down on record levels, and there is some risk this could decline further if there was an economic slowdown as companies usually put in place measures to kerb travel costs."
VisitBritain is working to ensure that the Olympic Games and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations will generate positive PR for Britain, providing the opportunity to revitalise appeal in mature markets as well as get Britain on the destination wish list of first-time visitors from growth markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia.
"As part of our ‘Great Britain - You're Invited' marketing programme which we are undertaking with commercial partners, we have a fantastic range of deals in place to entice visitors to travel here throughout 2012 and will look to tap into the strong holiday market to ensure we can build on the gains we have made over the last couple of years," said Dawe.
"This will be supported by our largest ever image campaign to help inspire potential visitors to come and enjoy all the great experiences that we have on offer here in the UK."
By Janet Harmer
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