UKinbound has challenged the findings of the VisitBritain commissioned report on Britain’s tourism industry reported on this blog last week.

The trade association said that the report ignores the real threats that are currently causing decline in visitor numbers. The report forecast that tourism revenue will increase by over 60% by 2010, but UKinbound believe that this is far too optimistic.

“We do not dispute the real potential for substantial growth in inbound tourism but this potential will pale into insignificance if there are no plans to increase capacity and to address urgently the real barriers to growth,” said UKinbound chief executive Mary Rance.

“With no plans to increase capacity at Heathrow or any other London airport and in the absence of a strategy to restore the competitiveness of the UK as a destination by addressing the barriers to growth, it is fantasy to suggest that such huge growth is attainable.”

The organisation said the UK is still experiencing a 3% decline so far in 2010 even with the benefit of a weak pound. It blamed APD and VAT and an overcomplicated visa system that puts travellers off visiting the UK as part of the problem that is restricting growth of tourists visiting the UK.