The UK must work to become one of the top five tourist destinations in the world, David Cameron has said.The strictness of the UK's border control is one reason; the fact that obtaining one visa, the Schengen will entitle you to visit not only Germany but most of the EU is another; and finally, the English Channel. We're not capable of changing our geographical position and hell will freeze over before any Conservative PM takes us into Schengen. So that leaves our own Border control but the government is giving conflicting signals on that one- it's an either/or I'm afraid.
The country was not "doing enough" to rise from its current sixth place, the prime minister added.
Speaking in London's Hyde Park, he urged people to be more "proud" of the UK and seize a "huge" opportunity to attract overseas visitors.
A report last month suggested tourism's contribution to the economy could grow by more than 60% to £188bn by 2020.
Mr Cameron said measures to help the industry would be speeding up the process of getting visitors' visas for the UK in India and China.
He said: "I want to see us in the top five destinations in the world. But that means being much more competitive internationally.
"Take Chinese tourists, for example. We're their 22nd most popular destination. But Germany is forecast to break into their top 10. Why can't we?"
In a criticism of the former Labour government, Mr Cameron said there had been too much emphasis on marketing "Cool Britannia", rather than on the UK's heritage."Cool Britannia" always struck me as too much of an Islington/Notting Hill (never mind London)-centric concept. It was designed to fit Blair's image of himself as the "modern guy down with the kids" rather than as a serious attempt to sell the UK as a whole to the world. Undoubtedly, London's sporadic periods of "trendiness" does pull in the odd person for whom such "trendiness" is important, but for every fashion victim looking to visit where the latest teen brat sensation drinks his cocktails, there must be ten more interested in a more rounded trip to the country.
And considering we don't have sun, decent wine, the Vatican, a Disneyland or a 40 million diaspora- I actually think 6th place is quite impressive:
The United Nations ranks the UK as the sixth-most visited destination in the world, behind France, the US, Spain, China and Italy.