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VisitBritain expects 2014 tourism boom

OVERSEAS visitors are set to spend record-breaking amounts of money in the UK next year, according to VisitBritain.

Foreign residents are likely to make 2% more visits to the UK next year than in 2013.

This will result in spending reaching an all-time high of around £21.5 billion, VisitBritain has forecast

This year has already been a good one for incoming tourism, with the number of visits from foreign residents up 6% in the first 10 months, with spending up 12%.

VisitBritain has welcomed Government funding of £90 million for the welcome-to-Britain GREAT campaign for the next two years.

The funding, with £45m for 2014/15 and the same in 2015/16, is up on the £30m allocated in 2013/14.

In its 2014 forecast, VisitBritain expects continued strong growth from emerging markets, particularly Malaysia, South Korea, China and Mexico.

The tourist organisation added that while the football World Cup in Brazil next summer may soften demand for outbound travel from the South American country, any change was unlikely to have a measurable impact on aggregate visits or spending in Britain.

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "Government investment in the millions will bring tourism returns in the billions.

"This year is set to be a record. It just goes to show what can be achieved."

Tourism Minister Helen Grant said: "Millions of people flock to British shores every year. Tourism is a key plank of our economy, helping to drive growth and promoting Britain on the world stage."

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