More international visitors are coming to Britain. Last year was a record breaker with 8 million visitors and to date this year is well up on that. Figures for January and February indicate an 11% increase on last year.
Tourist spending is also on the increase. The 4 million people who visited during the first two months of the year spent £1.6 billion. That is also 11% up on the same period last year.
New business is coming from developing markets in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and China. At the same time people continue to come from traditional markets such as France, Germany and Ireland.
Brighton stands to benefit from this growing trend particularly as summer approaches. And the early signs are promising. The visitbrighton web site has recorded a dramatic rise in the number of potential visitors using the Internet to find out about the city.
From 2003 to 2004 the number of visitors to visitbrighton.com soared from 75,000 to 450,000.
Recently the local authority has scaled down production of brochures to concentrate on using the web to attract tourists.
Research has shown that 39% of brochure enquirers actually visit the city, compared to 58% of those enquirers who had originally used the website. So if 58% of the 450,000 web visitors come in person business will be booming this summer.
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