UK trumps US in top tourist destination ranking

According to the World Economic Forum the UK is now the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world having overtaking the US. Thanks to large events like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Royal Wedding and Olympics, the UK’s profile has risen and tourists have flocked here in their millions.

Currently, the UK is behind the Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Spain in terms of tourism numbers and travel competitiveness but it seems it is increasingly becoming a more desirable place to visit.

The WEF looked at 140 countries and assessed how their tourism sectors contributed to their economies. Close neighbours France has seen its numbers fall and the UK has leapfrogged the US by climbing from seventh to fifth place in two years. As well as the appeal of global events the UK’s ‘excellent cultural resources’ were a major factor in the rise. The large number of World Heritage sites, strong creative industries and international fairs and events also added to the attraction for potential tourists.

However, the study wasn’t all good news. The UK may have come fifth in terms of popularity but it came 138th out of a possible 140 in terms of price competitiveness. This was in large part down to the second highest rate on tickets and charges at airports.

This is encouraging news for the UK tourism industry and also makes happy reading for those of us contemplating a staycation this year. It’s good to know that there is lots to see and do right here in the UK. Although there is still a long way to go to overtake Switzerland which once again sits top of the pile thanks to its world class travel infrastructure, hotels and natural resources.

Where are you planning to holiday this year and what was it that attracted you? How did you find the cost of travel, accommodation and travel insurance? Maybe it’s worth having a look at the world’s top ten to find out why some places have become tourist hotspots.

Date Created: 17 April 2013

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