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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 11:56 GMT
UK tourism 'will suffer in 2007'
London Eye
The London Eye has been a hit with tourists in recent years
Fewer tourists will travel to the UK in 2007 owing to the strength of the pound against the dollar, campaigners say.

The pound passing the $2 barrier would be "a considerable psychological blow" for Americans considering a visit to the UK, said the Tourism Alliance.

The group also claimed that rises in travel taxes and visa costs would be a disincentive to UK-bound travellers.

But organisations such as VisitBritain say they expect the number of overseas visitors to the UK to rise in 2007.

VisitBritain says 32.5 million people will visit next year - an increase of 3.7% on last year.

The Tourism Alliance claimed that Air Passenger Duty was set to double, and visas were to become more expensive, providing a "substantial disincentive" for overseas visitors.

The group, which lobbies on behalf of businesses, said the combination of these increases and the dollar's weakness represented "a dreadful prospect for inbound tourism".

It added that these additional costs would make the UK too expensive for many potential overseas visitors.

They would further compromise "our already precarious position in what has become an extremely price-sensitive and highly-competitive global business", the body claimed.


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