Hertfordshire set for a bumper tourism year
(9th March 2005)
Hertfordshire businesses are on course to earn around £121.6 million from international visitors this year, according to figures compiled for British Travel Trade Fair (BTTF), the premier UK travel and tourism exhibition.
Latest official figures show the county made £114 million from overseas business and leisure travellers in 2003. That could rise by £7.6 million in 2005 if Hertfordshire manages to achieve the growth rates predicted for the UK as a whole.
VisitBritain, which “sells” the UK to overseas markets, has forecast the country as a whole will see a 9.7 per cent increase in the number of overseas visits to Britain, and a 6.7 per cent increase in tourism earnings, over the two-year period.
Tom Wright, chief executive of VisitBritain, the organisation behind BTTF, said: “The prospects for the year ahead are looking very positive with all regions of Britain set to benefit. As VisitBritain continues to exploit the potential of new and emerging markets, and with the signing last month of Approved Destination Status with China, BTTF will be a key opportunity for us to showcase the jewels of British tourism to the rest of the world.”
According to Government Travel Trends statistics, Hertfordshire welcomed 355,000 visitors in 2003; if the VisitBritain projections are reflected across the county, that number could this year leap by 34,000.
“These figures highlight the enormous importance of the Travel and Tourism industry to local and regional economies,” says Graeme Barnett, BTTF’s Event Director, “and demonstrate a clear need for exactly the kind of informed, professional and businesslike approach that we promote – and inspire – at BTTF.”
The annual British Travel Trade Fair – this year’s two-day event kicks off on March 2 at Birmingham’s NEC – attracts thousands of international and domestic tourism professionals looking for original ideas for holiday tours, conference and meetings venues, and other travel products and services.
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