Middle East tourism to the UK is outpacing that of the rest of the world with regional visitors spending more per person than tourists from other areas, according to VisitBritain.“Visitors to the UK from the Middle East contributed an average spend of £1700 per capita per visit in 2004,” said Carol Maddison, Marketing Manager for VisitBritain’s UAE representative office. “That was three times the average for visitors from the rest of the world and with this level of spend, the Middle East is one of the most important regions generating inbound tourism to the UK.”
Now VisitBritain is planning to up the stakes even further with a series of tailor-made Arabic initiatives aimed at luring more Middle Easterners to its shores and plans to launch them at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
“ATM is an integral part of our marketing operations here in the Middle East and the market is of such importance to UK tourism that we have a number of initiatives we plan to launch at ATM designed to attract even more Middle East visitors to Britain,” said Maddison.
VisitBritain now plans to upgrade its operations from its UAE representative office in the British Council, Dubai.
Maddison said VisitBritain are planning to enhance VisitBritain’s Internet services to cater to the Arab market later in 2005.
“The first stage will be virtual offices throughout the Middle East allowing online bookings and this will be followed with the launch of our new Arabic website.
“Increasing numbers of visitors from this region mean we have to communicate effectively with Middle East audiences and the Arabic language website will be an integral part of our ongoing regional marketing and communication plans.”