At the Tourism Alliance annual Parliamentary reception this March, which was attended by 39 MPs and Lords, the latest tourism figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation were announced. These revealed that global tourism grew by 4% in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion international visits and expenditure of over $1 trillion.
Whilst the strongest growth was from developing markets in Asia, travel from the developed economies still grew by a robust 3.6% and is forecast to grow at a similar rate in 2013.
The UK is the seventh most popular worldwide destination, with London being the most popular city in the world. Furthermore, the world’s largest hotel group is British and the world’s second largest leisure and entertainment group is British. The UK has been ranked as the fifth most competitive tourism destination in the world, up from seventh place in 2011.
Tourism expenditure in the UK has increased by 6.9% to a total of £134 billion in 2012, sufficient to generate hundred and 80,000 new jobs in the UK.
However with the 360% increase in Air Passenger Duty over the last five years, this puts the UK as the most expensive country to fly from or to.
A copy of the Tourism Alliance report can be obtained from Sue McNicol on firstname.lastname@example.org