The UK’s tourism industry has high hopes for domestic tourism in 2004 and expects it to grow fastest ahead of the outbound and inbound sectors, according to the results of VisitBritain’s latest Business Confidence Monitor. 59 per cent of respondents in the survey expect domestic tourism to grow more quickly than outbound (23 per cent) and inbound (18 per cent).
Tom Wright, VisitBritain chief executive, said: “Awareness of all that visitors can experience on holiday at home has risen hugely in 2003, with domestic tourism in England bolstered by the success of the enjoyEngland and Outdoor England campaigns both last year and this. Domestic tourism traditionally performs well in the year following a hot summer and the results of the Confidence Monitor suggest the industry is once again preparing to take advantage of its rising popularity.
“While there are certainly challenges for inbound tourism, barring unforeseen incidents, VisitBritain expects the sector to grow by over 3.3 per cent to 25.5 million visitors - back to 2000 levels - with spending rising 3.4 per cent to £12.3 billion. VisitBritain will continue to work with the industry on hundreds of marketing activities to boost international visitors, including a spring campaign in the USA and thematic campaigns for good living and well-being, touring and city breaks.”
The survey further revealed that 50 per cent of respondents expect to see more customers in the first quarter of 2004 than in the same period in 2003. Over two fifths (43 per cent) were more optimistic about the general business situation for their company than three months ago, as opposed to 11 per cent feeling less optimistic.
400 senior marketing representatives from a cross-section of the accommodation, attractions and transport & tour operator sectors are surveyed for the quarterly Confidence Monitor to provide a regular and rapid view of performance and expectations across the industry. A summary of the top-line findings is available on www.visitbritain.com/ukindustry