At the start of British Tourism Week, the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) will reveal new research that will explain why tourism is running away from the UK rather than towards it. Last August, the Prime Minister made a speech stressing tourism’s economic potential. He said that he wanted to see the UK climb in world rankings of visitor destinations ( http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/speeches-and-transcripts/2010/08/pms-speech-on-tourism-54479 ).
Three factors will be put forward as principal causes of this decline. Firstly, the difficulty in obtaining visas. Secondly, the unavailability of hotel space at sensible market rates in London during the period of the Olympics. Thirdly, a taxation system which punishes companies based here who try to sell inbound tours in non-EU markets.
The research will be revealed in a press briefing, commencing at 11:00 am, on Monday, March 14, at the Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St., London WC2B 5DA. There, Tom Jenkins, ETOA’s Executive Director, will provide further details; he will offer comments on what the UK and Ireland governments can do to boost inbound tourism, and he will highlight a visa fiasco for visitors to the UK and Ireland.