Promoting cultural events increases tourism spend, says VisitBritain

Promoting Britain’s cultural events, theatres, churches and cathedrals will help increase tourism spend in the UK, says VisitBritain.

Speaking at the British Travel Trade Fair this week VisitBritain international research manager Philip Morrison said events such as music festivals are “hidden opportunities” that are listed by repeat tourists as key reasons for their return to the UK.

With these repeat visitors spending an average £80 more a trip than first-time arrivals, it is vital to ensure the UK’s tourists are encouraged to come back again and again, he argued.

“Hidden opportunities are all things that visitors claim have little impact on their holiday decision but what you find in researching is they have quite a big impact on our retention.

“It gives visitors a mental edge that will encourage them to tell their friends back home about,” he said.

Morrison said the perceived value for money available in the UK also encourages visitors to return although more needs to be done to promote public transport which allows tourists to see more than London on their trips.

It is hoped this will also stem the fall in the proportion of visitors who come to the UK on holiday which has dropped from 44% in 1996 to 32% in 2006.

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