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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

25th February 2013

1 million Australian tourists spend £1bn a year in Britain

London in February is a bit on the chilly side. But London is great to visit at any time of year. That’s why over one million Australians visit Britain every year, spending £1 billion. This amount has doubled over the past decade. A significant number are travelling to visit friends and relatives, but others are attracted by British culture, history and beautiful countryside.

Many are returning to relive, in more comfort, the experiences they had as backpackers in their younger day. With the strong Aussie dollar, Britain seems cheaper than it has for many years. My Australian friends are constantly telling me about the bargains they’ve found in London shops and restaurants and the fun they’ve had travelling round to other parts of the UK.

Big Ben

I was back in London for a series of meetings, including a call on Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and Tourism, who will be visiting Australia later this year, when promoting tourism will be a key part of his agenda.

His ministry is responsible for Visit Britain, our national tourism promotion agency. Their Australian office moved into our Consulate General in Sydney a few months ago. Sharing premises brings cost savings, but it also means improved synergies as we work together to promote the UK economy.

Of course we can’t rest on our laurels. We need to grow Australian tourist numbers by 40% to contribute our share of the UK national target of 40 million visitors by 2020. And as Australian demographics continue to evolve, there will be a smaller proportion of the population with family ties to Britain.

So we are working with Visit Britain to improve Australian awareness of the wide range of UK offerings, including in the English regions and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Joint activities like the GREAT campaign, building on our wonderful 2012 of Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics, can prove highly effective and we will be looking for further opportunities in the year ahead.

About Paul Madden

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017. He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia…

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017.

He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia until February 2015. Prior to this he was British High Commissioner in Singapore from 2007-2011.

A career diplomat, he was previously Managing Director at UK Trade and Investment (2004-2006), responsible for co-ordinating and
implementing international trade development strategies to support
companies across a wide range of business sectors.

As Assistant Director of Information at the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (2003-2004) he was responsible for public diplomacy policy,
including managing the FCO funding of the BBC World Service, the British
Council and the Chevening Scholarships programme. He led the team
responsible for the award-winning UK pavilion at the Aichi Expo in Japan

He was Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore from 2000-2003 and has
also served in Washington (1996-2000) and Tokyo (1988-92). Between
1992-96 he worked on EU enlargement and Environmental issues at the FCO
in London.

Before joining FCO he worked at the Department of Trade and Industry
(1980-87) on a range of industrial sectors and trade policy, including
two years as a minister’s Private Secretary.

He has an MA in Economic Geography from Cambridge University, an MBA
from Durham University, studied Japanese at London University’s School
of Oriental and African Studies, and is a Fellow of the Royal
Geographical Society. His first book, Raffles: Lessons in Business
Leadership, was published in 2003.

Married to Sarah, with three children, he was born in 1959, in Devon.