Professor John Fletcher spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Face the Facts programme today about the economy of the UK Tourism industry, and what patterns are expected to arise in the near future.
John revealed that the UK tourism industry is the 3rd largest export after the chemical and financial industries, and it affects every sector of the UK economy, from hotels, to transport and agriculture.
He also gave the tourism industry credit for being ‘incredibly resilient’, as it survives natural disasters like Tsunamis.
Although, with residents outside of the EU having to apply for two visas to visit the UK under the current Schengen agreement, John said: “It is harder to come to the UK than it ever has been, it is forecast over the next 17 years that tourism will grow by 60%, half of this statistic is expected to be Chinese, the effort expected of them to get a UK Visa is crazy.”
John also says that domestic tourism shouldn’t be forgotten, as it is a large part of the tourism economy, and that the Olympics may even bring a dip in tourism to the UK as visitors will be dissuaded by crowding. However, John credits the UK’s appeal saying: “We have so much going for us, we have a gift of presenting our culture and heritage, even in the rain!”
To listen to the full programme featuring John’s interview, tune into BBC Radio 4’s Face the Facts programme on July 11 at 12.30, and July 15 at 21.30.