VisitBritain receives major funding boost ahead of bumper 2012

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bha chief executive, United kingdom

VisitBritain is Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s visitor economy
VisitBritain is Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s visitor economy
With the year ahead packed full of iconic, once-in-a-lifetime events including the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, VisitBritain has received a welcome injection of £27m funding to help promote the UK.

The funding, announced today at the opening of the World Travel Market by culture secretary Jeremry Hunt, is part of a concerted effot to drive UK tourism over the next four years. VisitBritain aims to attract an extra 4.6 million visitors, spending an additional £2.3bn and creating almost 60,000 jobs.

“VisitBritain’s research indicates tourism has the potential to be one of the five fastest growing sectors of the UK in the years ahead, creating new jobs and helping sustain economic growth,” said VisitBritan chief executive Sandie Dawe. “Today’s significant announcement will go a long way to helping us achieve that aim.”

This initiative is part of the GREAT campaign launched by the Prime Minister in September to show the world that Britain is a great place to visit, to live, to invest and to do business with.

“This additional funding means we will be able to run the largest tourism marketing campaign in our history,” added Dawe. “We will be taking the GREAT brand into some of the most dynamic, fastest growing and economically important cities across the world to encourage a greater number of people to come and experience the very best of what Britain has to offer.

2012 marketing campaign

Meanwhile, Hunt also announced details of the Government’s three-year 2012 holiday-at-home marketing campaign, which will promote a website offering hundereds of holiday promotions offering at least 20.12% off the original price. The campagin has been welcomed by the British Hospitality Association (BHA).

The campaign Ufi Ibrahim, BHA chief executive, believes the Government’s efforts demonstrates its appreciation of the value of domestic and international tourism, but warned that significant barriers to growth still remained.

She said: “The BHA welcomes any funding that the UK government makes available to support British tourism and hospitality jobs.

“Hospitality businesses are also faced with unprecedented rising costs, including increases in business rates, as well as facing difficulties in funding and bank lending, which makes across-the-board discounts particularly difficult to justify and implement.”

An independent study by Oxford Economics, commissioned by the BHA last year, forecasts that, if barriers to growth are removed, the hospitality industry, which is the fifth largest in the UK, would be in pole position to create 236,000 jobs by 2015 and a total of 475,000 jobs by 2020.

Related topics: Business, Legislation, Travel & Tourism

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