VISITBRITAIN chairman Lord Colin Marshall has denied the
Government’s crackdown on terrorism will put visitors off
coming to Britain.

As the Prevention of Terrorism Act works its way through
parliament he said he doesn’t believe tourists will be put
off by the threat of an imminent terrorist attack. “It is more
likely to have a beneficial effect, making people feel safer in
terms of coming to Britain,” he said.

While 27.5 million visitors came to our shores last year –
a new record – Lord Marshall was unconcerned about the drop
in average spend per person, which saw around £12.8 billion
generated for the industry.

People are interested in coming on shorter city breaks and, with
the huge reduction in air fares on short and long-haul routes, we
are encouraging this and for them to come more often. The average
spend is going down per visit, but there’s nothing wrong with
it if these people come more often.”

He denied recent accusations in Travel Weekly that the
Government is more concerned with promoting domestic tourism abroad
than to its own citizens. He said while VisitBritain may have been
granted £36.5 million this year, England Marketing, which
deals with British-based promotions, has been awarded £12.8
million.

Lord Marshall said: “We now have eight regional development
agencies that have responsibility for tourism and it is also down
to them.”

He also believes retailers could do more to help themselves in
dismissing the public preconception that booking a domestic holiday
through an agent will incur additional fees.

He said: “The prime movers in that regard have to be the various
agents who can make it clear in their marketing and promotions that
it doesn’t cost extra to book with them.”