'People around the world are now realising what we have known for years: Britain is the place to visit. The United Kingdom has something for every taste and every pocket, from Oasis to opera, and backpacking to luxury travel and accommodation.
'We are attracting visitors in record numbers. But we must continue ensuring that Britain is able to compete effectively. Next month I shall publish new proposals to strengthen the partnership between Government the tourist boards and the industry, and further improve our competitiveness in the growing world tourism market.'
Figures published today show that the number of visitors to the United Kingdom in the first ten months of 1996 was 22.4 million, ten per cent more than during the same period in 1995 - itself a record-breaking year. Their spending was up by six per cent to£10.86m.
Mrs Bottomley said:
'It looks like 1996 will set new records both in numbers of visitors and their spending. This is excellent news for our tourism industry and for the country.