High tourism figures a positive sign as Britain begins cleanup

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The Independent Travel

VisitBritain has announced record visitor numbers to Britain for June 2011, as the country begins to clean up after the worst civil unrest in decades.

A total of 2.89 million visits were made to the United Kingdom during June, VisitBritain said August 11, nine percent up on June 2010 and an all-time record for the month.

The figures will be a welcome respite for Britain's tourist authorities, left reeling after serious riots in London and other cities made global headlines, just as the country attempts to show its best face ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A high-profile international advertising campaign by VisitBritain with the tag line "You're Invited" was suspended this week after officials deemed it "not appropriate" in the current climate.

A spokesperson for UKinbound, the body that represents the UK's inbound tourism industry, described the recent riots as "most unfortunate for the global image of the UK - and not just ahead of the Olympics but for the country’s short term and long term inbound tourism industry."

Officials in London are at pains to point out that most of the unrest occurred away from the capital's major tourist attractions, which have remained open for business, and that there have been no reports of tourists leaving the country early or canceling trips.

However, with under a year to go until the Olympic Games, British officials will be hoping that there is enough good news to come to outweigh the bad.

For more information on travel to Britain



Lonely Planet blog: http://inside-digital.blog.lonelyplanet.com/2011/08/10/latest-from-london/