BTA: Overseas visitors to U.K. up 3% in June

NEW YORK -- Rebutting the notion that the British Tourist Authority's "Only in Britain. Only in 2002" campaign, launched in mid-May is "coming up short," a BTA spokesman here noted newly released figures for June, that showed overall overseas visitors rose 3% year on year, while spending rose 2%, to $1.7 billion.

From North America, the U.K.'s recovery from Sept. 11 and hoof-and-mouth has been much slower, he conceded.

The U.K. government's North American figure for June is 540,000 visitors, a drop of 4% compared with last year, consistent with a 4% drop for the year to date, or 2.09 million visitors from North America for January through June.

The BTA "has always maintained that a full recovery to anything close to the record levels of 2000 would probably take two full years to achieve," the spokesman said.

As reported, a special committee of the British Parliament is examining the current state of the British tourism industry, as well as the government's own role and current effectiveness in tourism marketing, following last year's hoof-and-mouth and Sept. 11 setbacks.

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