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Tourism, for many reasons, most of which we don't have to rehearse, is currently a particularly tough market, and nowhere more so than in the business of attracting American visitors to Britain.

Tourism, for many reasons, most of which we don't have to rehearse, is currently a particularly tough market, and nowhere more so than in the business of attracting American visitors to Britain.

You will hear no complaints, then, from us about the launch of a major British marketing campaign in the United States. Where we do depart a little is in the choice of the two leading "faces" of the campaign. Doubtless Joan Collins was unavailable, but, even so, the Prince of Wales and Mr Blair would not be our first thought to plant the "hey, that's a place I really must go to now!" impulse among our transatlantic cousins with dollars to spread about. The combination, we feel, of a nervous smile and bashful diffidence is not exactly the hard sell that they understand and this country needs.

We would select some plainer speaking personalities. Who would dare not to come if, say, Lady Thatcher or the Duke of Edinburgh ordered it? Sir Richard "We're all etcetera'd" Mottram is another man who doesn't beat around the bush. And John Prescott is at a loose end. Action, please!

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