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British government bids for post-Olympic tourism boost

(Xinhua)

08:28, August 15, 2012

LONDON, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The British government on Tuesday said it hopes the London 2012 Olympics would give a boost to tourism to the country, particularly from China.

Addressing tourism industry leaders in London, British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the British government was hoping to create a lasting tourism legacy from the Olympic games.

The British government has set out a strategy focusing on attracting visitors from China. It said there is potential to triple the number of Chinese tourists to Britain to 500,000 a year, which could generate more than 500 million pounds (784 million U.S. dollars) in extra spending and create more than 14,000 jobs in Britain.

About 150,000 Chinese tourists came to Britain last year. The number of Chinese visitors to France, in the meantime, were some 50 percent higher.

Key to the British tourism boosting strategy is an 8-million-pound marketing campaign focused on China.

The new tourism campaign will increase marketing in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, and will look to improve flight links between the two countries.

The British government aims to increase the number of overseas visitors to Britain from just over 30 million currently to 40 million by 2020.

"We must use this extraordinary year to turbocharge our tourism industry, to create jobs and prosperity on the back of a globally-enhanced reputation," Hunt said.

At the same time, the secretary also hoped to boost domestic tourism. The British government plans to invest 2 million pounds in marketing to encourage Britons to take a holiday within the country.

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