Although these figures seem significantly smaller than for domestic tourism in the same year, the average spending per trip was 160 for domestic tourism, and 489 for overseas visitors (www.staruk.org, visited 27/06/2007). The reasons for the difference can be explained by the cost of travel (e.g. flights) and accommodation (the average length of stay was over 8 nights by overseas visitors). Recently released figures have shown a 36% increase in overseas visitors to 24.2 million in 2002, as well as a growth in spending to 11.8 billion (www.britishtouristauthority.org, released, 27/06/2007). This shows the re-growth of this part of the industry after the sharp fall in 2001 as a result of the events of September 11th. The size of these figures show how important tourism is to the UK in general, but it also seems appropriate to look at its impact on various areas within Britain.
The South West Tourist Board deals with the seven counties in the area. It contains two National Parks, covering 1.6 square kilometres of land. Tourism is high not only due to these national parks but because of various other attractions, including the Jurassic Coast of Dorset/East Dorset that was given World Heritage Site status in December 2001. (Lickorish, 2002, 66-70) The attraction is proved by the 2001 figures that show the South West to attract: 14% of all domestic trips and 8% of overseas visits; 18% of all domestic night stays and 7% equivalent for overseas visitors; and the area received 16% of all the domestic tourism expenditure and took 5% of overseas visitors' money (www.westpart.wctb.co.uk, visited 27/06/2007). The final figure is of most economic significance to the area, and shows that the local economy benefits greatly from domestic tourism. In fact, total tourism to the area generated 3.275 million for the local economy. (May, 2001, 112-18)
In Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley the aim is 'to increase visitors and provide quality information services'. One way of promoting the area is to use the fact that it is the home of eight of the top twenty Scottish attractions. Supply for tourists to the area is also enhanced through the two airports it holds. These provide easy access to the area for not only overseas visitors, but also those from other countries in the UK. In fact, overseas tourists totalled 400,000 visits in 2001, spending 165 million in 1998 (www.touristboard.seeglasgow.com, visited 27/06/2007). In contrast to figures shown earlier, this amount is very similar to the domestic tourism expenditure of 183 million in the same year, showing that overseas visitors contribute almost as much as UK residents. We can see by these figures that the demand for tourism is high, and therefore it is necessary that the government has organisations to advise it on key policy issues affecting the industry. (Krippendorf, 2005, 78-83)
Nature and Scope of Government Involvement
Before April 2003, the British Tourist Authority was the main governing body for tourism in the UK, and was funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The DCMS has the role within tourism of 'encouraging and helping the industry improve facilities and promote a positive image abroad'