Foreign tourists flock to the town

This Is Wiltshire: The Steam Museum The Steam Museum

THE Steam Museum, the Designer Outlet Village and the Magic Roundabout are among locations being praised for an increase in international tourists visiting Wiltshire.

Figures released this week by VisitBritain show international visits to Wiltshire rose from 100,000 in 2012, to 114,000 last year, a rise of 14 per cent.

The total foreign tourist spend in the county rose from £28m in 2012, to £30m last year.

Stonehenge, Avebury stone circle and Salisbury Cathedral have been praised for the boost, as well as the Swindon landmarks.

Dawn Osborne,the information officer at Swindon Borough Council, said visitors to Swindon came from across the globe.

“We have a lot of people coming from Australia and Europe, who we receive very positive feedback from,” she said.

“We tend to have a lot of email correspondence with our international visitors before they come over as it helps them plan their trip.

“We aim to keep improving the service we provide to help those who come to Swindon from foreign countries and other parts of Britain.”

And she said the town offered a number of unique attractions for visitors.

“We have some great attractions in and around Swindon, such as the Steam Museum, the designer outlet, Roves Farm and many lovely parks,” she said.

“We also have the Magic Roundabout which is popular with visitors.

“We regularly have tourists in here telling us they’ve driven it, and our Magic Roundabout-branded souvenirs are bestsellers.”

Regionally, the south west showed the biggest increase in international visitors, with numbers increasing by 48 per cent.

David Andrews, VisitWiltshire’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to see the continued upward trend in visitor numbers to the county.

“Working closely with our partners VisitWiltshire is ensuring the county is well and truly on the world map.

“We’re delighted our efforts at targeting key international markets, for example hosting 100 key international press and travel trade from markets including France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Australia, China, Russia, Canada and USA, are already paying off.

“With our unrivalled combination of a World Heritage site, unique visitor attractions, top class restaurants, bustling cities, market towns and stunning countryside, Wiltshire is a great destination for international visitors of all ages and interests.”

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