London is a top 3 destination for Europeans

More Europeans anticipate visiting England in the next 12 months than any other country in the world, say results from CNN’s latest "Consumer Connect" study on the travel and tourism industry.

London is a top 3 destination for Europeans

More Europeans anticipate visiting England in the next 12 months than any other country in the world, say results from CNN’s latest “Consumer Connect” study on the travel and tourism industry. London (26.5%) also places in the top three on the global travel destination wish list for Europeans (behind New York at 36.2% and Paris at 29.3%), suggesting the city is well positioned to attract tourism footfall from its closest neighbors as momentum gathers towards the royal wedding next year and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

England also scores well for many desirable holiday attributes. In a list of the top 15 global destinations, for global respondents, England scored a top three ranking for “vibrant city life,” “rich in culture,” “safe to visit,” and “tourist friendly.”

“At a time when the tourism industry is showing confident signs of recovery, the announcement of the royal engagement has put a global spotlight on destination London and the UK, creating a unique opportunity for tourism growth. Travelers across the globe will want to be here to feel the excitement of what is expected to be the greatest celebration of 2011 – before, during, and even afterwards. The benefits are increased tourist appeal, a boost to the economy, and destination image enhancement. The time is now for the tourism industry to send out a global invitation to be a part of the celebrations, sparking growth in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics,” said Anita Mendiratta, Head of CNN’s TASK Group (Tourism Advertising Solutions & Knowledge).

The survey results show that relaxation isn’t the only thing on travelers’ minds when it comes to choosing how to spend their time away from home. For global respondents:

• Sightseeing (67%) and history/culture (66%) are favored over beach activities (62%)

The survey results also suggest that global cost cutting does not appear to have had a negative impact on consumer spending patterns.

• On average, people spent £2006 on their last vacation with nearly half (45%) spending at least £1247 last time they holidayed.

• Three quarters (74%) of those surveyed said they plan to spend the same or more on their holidays in 2011.

“In tough times when travel market confidence is still recovering from the global financial crisis, these results speak volumes from a high profile set of consumers, many of whom are global influencers with sizeable disposable incomes. These are the people who play an integral role in keeping the global tourism economy ticking over,” commented Max Raven, SVP Ad Sales, CNN International (UK).

The survey forms part of proprietary research commissioned by CNN International Advertising Sales to enable its clients to better understand the perception and purchase behavior of CNN brand users towards a particular sector. “Consumer Connect: Travel & Tourism” is the tenth in a series of studies conducted on all CNN websites (English and Arabic). The survey involved 50+ questions posed to some 3,500 respondents globally. The fieldwork was conducted between May and June 2010.

The TASK Group is a fully complimentary, bespoke client service comprising a team of external experts in tourism and economic development who work closely with CNN to support clients to create impactful tourism communications solutions. Now in its fourth year of global operations, the TASK Group celebrates assisting more than 65 ministries of tourism and tourism industry leaders across the world with strategic advice to enhance their nation and brand building efforts and navigate crisis issues.

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