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LONDON CRUCIAL TO BRITAIN'S TOURISM ECONOMY

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The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and London Tourist Board and Convention Bureau (LTB), has welcomed the public...
The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and London Tourist Board and Convention Bureau (LTB), has welcomed the publication of the Tourism Alliance's report Tourism Spending Priorities .

The report, which is urging the government to take action to help the tourism industry reform and modernise, recognises the crucial role that London has to play in the success of UK tourism. The report calls for a raise in government investment in the marketing of London to a level that reflects its importance as the major gateway to the UK for visitors.

London is the primary destination for overseas visitors, attracting 13.1 million visitors and more than 50 per cent of expenditure by overseas visitors in the UK. Yet London receives just£1.5m in central government funding for its promotional activities out of a total for England of£36.75m. London's success is vital to the UK tourism economy as a substantial number of visitors go from London to other parts of the country.

Mr Livingstone, said: 'The Tourism Alliance report is very much in line with the results of the Tourism Review that I have recently undertaken. The key to unlocking the opportunities that tourism presents, not only for London but for the rest of the country, is greater government investment in tourism development and destination marketing.'

Key concerns raised by the Tourism Alliance include the lack of a purpose built international convention and exhibition centre in the capital and quality of the visitor experience, particularly visitor accommodation, the lack of reliable and timely data about visitors and trends, and the need for strong and effective brand development.

'The tourism review has raised many different issues for the industry and the visitor. Working in partnership with the London Development Agency and London Tourist Board, I am putting together a three year strategy for tourism in the capital with a prioritised action list,' said the mayor.

Paul Hopper, managing director of LTB, said: 'The tourism industry in London is at a crossroads in its development. There are some major issues to deal with and these present exciting opportunities. The mayor's drive to create a long-term strategy is vital but there must be appropriate investment in Britain's premier destination which the Tourism Alliance recognises will benefit the industry across the UK.'

Note

- The Tourism Alliance is made up of the leading tourism industry organisations: the Association of British Travel Agents, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, Association of Recognised English Language Services, British Beer and Pub association, British Hospitality Association, British Holiday and Home Parks Associations, British Incoming Tour Operators Association, British Tourist Authority, Confederation of British Industry, English Tourism Council, Local Government Association and Regional Tourist Boards.

- LTB is a private company limited by guarantee and is funded by membership subscriptions and commercial activity with some public sector funding from the Association of London Government and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport via the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.

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