Fifty key UK tourism businesses have embarked on a VisitBritain trade mission in an effort to tap into the £18 billion Russian outbound travel market.
Around 400 key Russian buyers are due to attend events in Moscow and St Petersburg over four days to meet companies including British Airways, Merlin Entertainments and Intercontinental Hotel Group.
The national tourism agency hopes the tourism trade mission will help the UK to capitalise on the world’s ninth most valuable tourism source market.
The UK received 170,000 Russian visitors in 2010, with numbers expected to have risen to 200,000 last year.
VisitBritain strategy and communications director Patricia Yates, leader of the trade mission, said: “Britain only accounted for one per cent of all outbound tourism from Russia in 2010 yet this still generated nearly £200 million towards the UK economy.
“The Russian market is buoyant but Britain has plenty of work to do to in order to attract more of the £18 billion spent by Russian tourists internationally each year.”
She added: “This is the year when the eyes of the world will be on the UK as we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and host the London 2012 Game. As such, we need to ensure that a wide range of British product is sold by the Russian travel trade.
“Nothing beats face-to-face business and this mission will be an important catalyst for enticing an even greater number of Russian visitors to Britain this year and that we continue to build on that success in the crucial years ahead.”
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