Mideast tourist numbers to UK set to soar
Dubai, February 20, 2012
Britain welcomed more visitors than ever from the Middle East last year and the trend is set to continue throughout 2012, according to VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourist authority.
The 2012 Middle Eastern influx will be partly driven by the Summer Olympics, which are taking place in less than six months and have been dubbed “the greatest show on earth” by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Recent figures from VisitBritian indicate Great Britain welcomed 30.6 million visitors in 2011, a 3 per cent increase on 2010, and the strongest year since 2008. In H1 2011, 15 per cent – or one in seven tourists – hailed from the “Rest of the World’ region, which includes the Middle East.
Carol Maddison, manager, UAE, VisitBritain said: “A strong contingent of Middle Eastern tourists is expected to visit Britain during the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. With June’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Festival this summer, there will be activities to suit everyone’s interests and passions, providing a unique opportunity to experience Britain and British hospitality at its very best.”
Running from July 27 to August 12, the Olympics will imbue London with an unprecedented carnival atmosphere that can be appreciated by ticket holders and casual tourists alike, whereas city centres across the country will accommodate a series of large-screens to ensure nobody misses out on the action.
In addition to the event itself, Britain is set to further up the celebratory ante with a succession of related free events running across sport and culture, and there will be even more Olympian thrills to be had from August 29 to September 9 when the 2012 Paralympics roll into town.
Guy Warrington, consul general at the British Embassy in Dubai, said: “The whole world will come together in London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. The UAE national team will experience the finest training and sporting facilities the world has to offer. And, for our Emirati guests visiting the UK, in July I promise the warmest of welcomes. Not only will they be thrilled by the excitement of the Games, but they will also be spoilt for choice from all that the UK has to offer – from Edinburgh Castle and the mountains of Snowdonia to Stonehenge and beyond.” - TradeArabia News Service