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Recent figures from Visit Britain reveal that more than twice as many (61%) are planning an overnight trip in England during the Easter break, compared to going abroad (29%).
There has also been very strong growth in inbound visits to the UK in each of the past three years, and it is expected that although the rate of growth will slow, 2007 should see a further increase in the number of overseas visitors coming to the UK. This is great news for retailers who can maximise the potential of tourist trade.
Visit Britain suggests that while the impact of increased Air Passenger Duty and visa is not yet known, there are lots of positive influences currently unfolding. For example, the Japanese economy is looking far stronger, giving the prospect that this vital inbound market may start to recover some of its recent losses. The Bollywood Oscars taking place in the UK this summer will be helpful in attracting more visitors from India, a market that has seen healthy growth of late, boosted by a rapidly expanding economy and much improved air access to the UK. Most recently, Jet Airways announced a new three flights per week service from Ahmedabad to Heathrow.
And, to add to the expectations, following the success of the domestic England Rocks! Campaign, VisitBritain is also launching Britain Rocks! for overseas markets, which will inspire music lovers of all nationalities to visit rock and pop heritage locations as part of their holiday to Britain.
Regional access from European markets continues to improve, bringing more visitors to the UK. And, with recent announcements including new routes from Cork to Newquay (Air South West), Warsaw to Birmingham (Norwegian) and from Lille to Leeds Bradford (bmi), the tourist market looks set to be a strong area for sales this year.