Britain expects more tourists from India in 2011

March 25th, 2011 - 6:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Prince William New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The British Tourist Authority (VisitBritain) Friday said it expects an increase of 15 to 18 percent in the number of Indian tourists visiting Britain during 2011.

“We expect an increase of about 15 to 18 increase in Indians visiting Britain in 2011 as there has been a tremendous increase in enquiries for UK and Europe,” said Paramjit Bawa, VisitBritain’s country manager for India.

According to Bawa, while the estimates of Indian visitors for 2010 were still awaited, it is expected that there was an increase of around 30 percent — around 300,000 to 320,000 visits per year.

The Indian travellers to Britain are categorised into four segments - leisure, business, VFR (visiting friends and relative) and students on short-term visas.

While the maximum contributors to the Indian tourist basket to Britain are leisure travellers who account for 35 to 40 percent, they are closely followed by business travellers at 35 percent. The remaining comprise VFR travellers and students.

Bawa also said that the tourism agency was going to initiate a global tourist campaign to attract visitors to Britain.

“There are going to be two to three big events coming up in UK which will have global media attention… like the royal wedding (Prince Charles’ son Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton), Queen’s (Elizabeth II) jubilee celebration and the Olympics next year,” Bawa said adding that the mega-campaign would focus on attracting tourist for these events.

The mega-tourist campaign is expected to be initiated sometime after the royal wedding in April.

Meanwhile, VisitBritain has also set up an initiative called the ‘Welcome to Britain group’ which is intended to create a more welcoming perception of that country through re-branding and improving the reception systems at visa application centres and websites.

Britain is among the top 10 countries visited by Indians every year, and VisitBritain has a wide presence in India with three offices.

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