Tourism Boost For Bournemouth

Visit Britain says 178,000 people from overseas came to Bournemouth in 2012.

The latest figures show that's up 38% on 2011.

There was also an 87% increase in the number of Germans who came to stay in the town.

London accounted for more than half the visits overseas tourists made to the UK last year.

Of the 31 million trips foreign residents took to the UK in 2012, a total of 15.46 million were to London, statistics from VisitBritain showed.

VisitBritain strategy and communications director Patricia Yates said:

"Last year we welcomed 31 million overseas visitors and hope to attract one million more in 2013.

"We're particularly encouraged by the continued strong growth from the influential BRIC markets and their desire to visit locations across the UK.

"2012 has certainly helped change the world's perceptions of Britain, and there is real potential for us to attract 40 million international visitors a year by 2020, an achievement which will mean more visitors are travelling to London and beyond.

"However, we face intense competition from other destinations eager to attract more visitors. That means we need to work better and smarter if we are to secure a long-term legacy for tourism and the country.''

Minister for tourism Hugh Robertson said:

"We showcased the very best of Britain last year encouraging overseas visitors to come and see for themselves what our great country has to offer.

"I am encouraged that destinations across Britain have seen visitor numbers rise and we will do all we can to keep up that momentum. Tourism spend is up and I am confident that the industry can continue to grow and increase its contribution to the economy further.''