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Warm words won't increase Chinese tourism

British Air Transport Association

1 min read Partner content

The British Air Transport Association has said that the government must take action on aviation taxes and capacity if they are serious about creating a "post-Olympics tourism revolution".

In a speech today Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government wants to increase the number of overseas visitors to the UK from just over 30 million today to 40 million by 2020.

He also said there would be a focus on China, with marketing campaigns and "improvements to the visa system and work with airlines and aviation authorities to improve the number of flight connections to China".

Simon Buck, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association, said:

"It is all very well to call for new direct services to China, but with the highest taxes on flying in the world and a severe shortage of airport capacity in the south east of England, we need government action rather than merely warm words and aspirations.

"Spending more money on marketing Britain to the world is welcome, but that in itself won’t do anything to address the barriers of tax and airport capacity shortages that the UK faces."

Mr Hunt said that the Olympics "should be for Britain what Usain Bolt is for athletics – something that grabs the attention of the whole world and refuses to let it go."

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