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Record number of Indians visiting UK

world Updated: Mar 02, 2013 00:32 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar
Dipankar De Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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The number of Indians flying to Britain to visit friends and relatives is at a 10-year high. The figures are so encouraging, the agency responsible for promoting British tourism has decided to bring sales teams to India to showcase sporting events, palaces and even shopping malls.

A total of 145,000 Indians came to Britain in the holiday season alone (April-June) last year, VisitBritain officials said.

The first three quarters of the year 2012 showed a 10% and 6% rise respectively in those coming to see friends and relatives and those on a holiday, with expectations that 2013 will continue this growth.

In 2011, 355,000 Indians visited Britain, spending £318 million, nearly 100% more visits than in 2000.

Now Britain wants to attract more than half a million Indian visitors by 2020, according to tourism officials.

British tourism officials are in India this week with plans to market the annual tennis championship at Wimbledon, the mammoth shopping malls of Westfield in London and royal palaces are in India this week.

"We're putting family friendly British businesses in front of decision makers, generating growth from a high spending country," said Keith Beecham of VisitBritain.