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Tourist Boss Criticised for Dismissing Beach Holidays

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8:28am 23rd July 2012
(Updated 8:28am 23rd July 2012)

Claims holidaymakers do not come to the UK for the beaches have sparked anger in Cornwall.

The head of Visit Britain made the statement during a press conference to big-up the Olympics.

Sandie Dawe was asked if the recent bad weather would undermine the economic benefits brought by the games.

She is reported to have replied: "It is only the Brits that have a complete obsession with our weather. The rest of the world are less interested. Frankly, people do not come here to lie on a beach. That is not our offer."

Visit Britain says she was trying to emphasise how international visitors see the UK as an all year round destination: "For international tourists Britain is an all year round location, whatever the weather. Our research tells us that only 15% actually seek a beach or coastal area on their visit. VisitBritain doesn't market Britain as a hot weather location internationally, we know that visitors don't come here because of the weather, even if it's not as wet as people are led to believe.

"Our research also tells us that visitors from overseas come here to experience our world-class heritage and culture, be this Tate Liverpool, Edinburgh Castle, the British Museum or Stonehenge.

"We play to our strengths internationally and culture and heritage is a big part of that, bringing in £4.5 billion to the UK economy each year. Clearly we welcome the world to each and every part of Britain, including our seaside and coastal locations. We worked hard to promote the locations of the Torch Relay which included countless coastal and seaside areas and produce inspiring seaside content across all our platforms to inspire the world to visit each and every corner of Britain."

8:28am 23rd July 2012

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