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19 Mar 2018

£50m investment into UK attractions set to boost tourism sector
BY Tom Anstey

Launching later in the year, a new Bear Grylls attraction from Merlin has promised to 'bring adventure to millions'

Launching later in the year, a new Bear Grylls attraction from Merlin has promised to 'bring adventure to millions'

Britain’s visitor attractions are set to get a major boost, with investment into the sector topping £50m (US$70.2m, €57m) this year.

In addition to significant investment across Britain’s attractions sector, the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) also pointed at a rise in staycations, with continued growth in inbound tourism further boosting the sector in 2018.

According to VisitBritain figures, inbound tourism for 2017 increased by 6.6 per cent. Domestic security concerns did affect the capital London, however regional spend increased as Britons opted for the staycation instead of travelling abroad.

BALPPA says that the relative weakness of the pound and the looming split of the UK from the European Union (EU), combined with soon-to-open rides, innovative features and exciting events, will encourage more international visits and encourage the British public to vacation on home soil.

Of 2018’s new openings, Alton Towers’ Wicker Man – the first new wooden rollercoaster in Britain in more than 20 years – is among the most significant. Opened to the public at the weekend, the Great Coasters-designed ride combines wood and fire to create a thrilling ride experience.

Coming to the Midlands is Bear Grylls Adventure at the Birmingham NEC. Launching later in the year, the celebrity survivalist the experience is named after has promised to “bring adventure to millions”, with the opening of the new attraction.

“Major investment across the industry means there’s lots of great new attractions on offer throughout the UK,” said BALPPA chief executive, Paul Kelly.

“Shared experiences with friends or family are also becoming ever more important in today’s busy world. A visit to a UK attraction not only creates the opportunity to spend time together, but represents great value for money compared to many other activities."



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