BTA &pound;5m bid to woo back <BR>tourists goes ahead

LONDON - The British Tourist Authority is to plough on with a £5m campaign aimed at boosting overseas tourism to the UK, despite this week's air disaster in New York.

BTA head of press and PR Jo Leslie said PR is needed 'now more than ever' as the British tourist industry battles to attract foreign visitors, particularly from the US.

She said: 'The need to offer reassurance is even greater. Our message is simple, that it must be business as usual.'

Come Back to Britain is to launch in the New Year as a response to the crisis in Britain's tourism sector that is likely to be exacerbated by Monday's American Airlines crash. Campaigning will focus on Britain's heritage, countryside and culture.

Leslie said: 'It is too early to predict what the impact of what happened this week in New York will be, but it is clear that it may take longer to get our messages across.'

The AA flight, heading for the Dominican Republic, crashed in the Rockaway suburb of the NY borough of Queens minutes after take off from nearby JFK airport.

As PRWeek was going to press the cause of the crash is believed to have been a technical fault rather than terrorism.

The estimated cost to the

UK industry in the aftermath of 11 September is expected to amount to £2.5bn this year.

BTA PR staff have this week been at the World Trade Market, at Earls Court, liaising with around 5,000 tourism representatives and global media organisations.

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