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Importing them by the shipload


Attracting tourists to Britain's regions will gettougher as the economy grows


IN THE harbour at Portsmouth, the din of shipbuilding competes for attention with thethumping feet of tourists in its historic docks. Just metres away from sailors and shipwrightsmaintaining the Royal Navy's latest vessels, visitors jostle on the decks of the tiny wooden HMSVictory, searching for the spot where Lord Nelson died in battle in 1805. But with traditionalshipbuilding in decline, Portsmouth hopes its burgeoning attractions can take up the slack.The numbers of people looking at its dockyard have risen in the past year, and a smart newmuseum to house the Mary Rose, a salvaged Tudor warship, opened in May 2013.


New research published on November 21st by Deloitte, a consultancy, has raised hopes thattourism can helpBritain's regions reduce their reliance on other industries. It predicts that thesector will grow by 3.8% a year between now and 2025—much faster than manufacturing,retail or construction. Tourism, it says, has beenBritain's fastest-growing employment sectorsince 2010. Unusually, northernEngland,Wales, and ruralScotland—areas which otherwisestruggle to attract new businesses—have recently seen particularly strong job growth.


But places likePortsmouthwill need to attract more foreigners to keep up the current rate ofgrowth. Deloitte forecasts that the amount international visitors spend will grow by over 6% ayear, nearly twice as fast as for the domestic holidaymakers most regions currently relyon.Portsmouthis already trying to drum up more sightseers from abroad. In the same weekthat BAE, a defence contractor, announced 940 job losses at its shipyard in the city, BrittanyFerries and VisitBritain, which promotes tourism, launched a ?m($4.8m) advertisingcampaign to get the French to frequent Portsmouth and its surroundings in greater numbers.


This task may prove more difficult than Deloitte's report suggests. Getting foreigners toventure beyondLondonis already hard. The capital now accounts for over 53% of their totalspending inBritain, a figure that has held steady since the Olympics last year.Portsmouth'sgrimy centre has also struggled to attract non-Britons. According to Brittany Ferries, only 17%of its car-ferry traffic originates fromFrance. Many drive through without stopping.


Recovery elsewhere inBritain's economy may also hamper the growth of regional tourism. Theindustry fears the weakness of the pound this summer will not last, as a run of good economicnews buoys up its value. Hotels and attractions on the south coast already fear that this willreduce overseas bookings next year. Likewise, a strong pound has rekindled enthusiasmamong Britons for holidays abroad. Many parts ofEast Angliaand the south-west have lost over5% of their jobs in tourism since 2010; people who used to visit are jetting off to warmerclimes instead. Although foreign tourists may bring welcome cash toBritain's struggling regions,persuading Britons to keep holidaying at home will be uphill work.Portsmouth's wind- andrainswept docks this week suggested that any attraction may be strictly seasonal.

英国?a class="arc_keyword" href="/125685.html">经济复苏也会同时束缚区域旅游业。旅游业担心英镑的疲软在今夏就会结束,因为英镑重振雄风是个好消息。但南岸的宾馆和旅游景点已经担心这将会减少下一年的海外预定。同时,坚挺的英镑重燃了英国民众到国外度假的信心。东安格利亚的部分地区和英国西南部自2010年起就丢失了超过5%的旅游业职位;过去的常客转而乘飞机去了更温暖的地方。即使国外游客会给英国苦苦挣扎的地区带来经济收益,这也很难让英国人相信宅在家度假很费劲。朴茨茅斯港口这周的风和雨水显示了任何景点都有严格的季节性?/p>

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