VisitBritain announced the cutback last week in response to the government’s decision to slash its funding by 34 per cent.
But BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said the agency was right to focus on certain key markets.
“Unfortunate though it is, the need for VisitBritain to re-focus became imperative once the government’s cut in funding was announced,” she said. “It is far better to concentrate on key markets than to spread resources too thinly over a wider area and thus be far less effective.”
The 21 overseas markets VisitBritain will continue to reach, which it claims account for 80 per cent of inbound tourism spend, include the USA, Canada, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, China, India, Japan and UAE.
Ibrahim did however express concern that VisitBritain had not highlighted the business market, which is worth over £3.6bn in overseas revenue, as a priority target.
“The corporate market is significant and many hotels in major city centres rely on overseas business travel and corporate meetings and events. It’s unfortunate that resources don’t spread to this important sector.”