It was a very early start on Monday, 16th July 2018. I met officials at London’s famous Tower Bridge at 5.00am in order to have the honour and pleasure of operating the controls to raise Tower Bridge to let a large cruise ship through.
I was thrilled to be invited by the City of London as the Minister for Tourism to see for myself one of the UK’s largest tourist attractions, Tower Bridge, which attracted around 2.8 million visitors last year– up by around 100,000 from 2016.
I had the pleasure of learning more about the famous Tower Bridge and looking at its impressive internal workings. Needless to say I was under professional supervision throughout!
Tourism to the UK remains very strong. Indeed, VisitBritain have noted that 2017 was a record breaking year for overseas visits to the UK and also for the amount spent by tourists in this country with 39.2 million inbound visits (up 4%) and visitors spending £24.5 billion (up 9%).
Our tourism industry is booming with not only strong numbers from traditional markets like EU visitors (25 million) but record numbers from emerging markets such as China, India and the Gulf States.