Following the £80bn worth of spending cuts announced by the Government today, national tourism agency VisitBritain will need to review its operations if its Olympic tourism strategy is to remain on track.
After escaping the Government’s cull of public bodies last week, VisitBritain will have its funding cut by 34 per cent, from £25.5m in 2011/12 to £12.2m in 2014/15.
Despite the cuts, VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said the agency would continue to “focus clearly on inspiring the world to visit and explore Britain, delivering a global network capable of promoting Britain; championing the tourism industry and creating a sustained increase in UK tourism as a result of the Olympics.”
With the 2012 Olympic Games under two years away, the agency will need to cut its overheads and overseas network in order to support the global marketing strategy for the Games.
“We have a great chance to use the unprecedented level of media exposure that the event will bring to boost Britain’s image abroad,” said VisitBritain chairman Christopher Rodrigues. “
We are determined to do our utmost, despite this reduced funding, to grasp that opportunity and are already in discussions with Ministers about how to create the strongest possible campaign around the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote this country as a tourism destination working in partnership with the private sector.”
Both VisitBritain and VisitEngland avoided the Government’s cull of 192 quangos last week. At the time the Department for Media Culture and Sport (DCMS) argued that both bodies should be retained as they “perform a technical function which should remain independent from Government”.