According to BITOA
, the Home Office is blocking Approved Destination Status (ADS) for China and refuses to join the EU-backed Schengen Agreement whose members have already agreed ADS for China.
chief executive Stephen Dowd said: "Members in all sectors are expressing concern at the unprecedented pressure on prices.
Stephen Dowd, chief executive with BITOA
, said that although overseas visitor numbers rose by 2pc in October compared with the same month last year, the long-haul market remained poor.
said: ``The conflict in Iraq dampened demand severely and was particularly damaging to forward bookings.
A Bitoa spokesman said, ``Even at these levels the im-pact on inbound tourism is fast approaching that of the foot-and-mouth disease just two years ago.''
Bitoa also reported that forward bookings in February 2003 dipped 13.8% compared with the same month last year.
The two-day BITOA event at the Roxburghe was about winning back tourists from overseas.
Stephen Dowd, chief executive of BITOA, said: "We have told the hotel management our observations and asked if they will take them on board.
chief executive Richard Tobias said he was expecting many foreign tourists to visit the UK over Easter - come rain or shine.
The British Incoming Tour Operators Association (BITOA
) publishes a report demanding better standards in the school trip "homestay" market.