WTTC: Marketing campaigns not enough to grow UK tourism industry

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Uk tourism industry, Tourism, England

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has warned the Government increased marketing budgets won't help the tourism industry without wider policy changes
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has warned the Government increased marketing budgets won't help the tourism industry without wider policy changes
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has warned the Government increased budgets for marketing campaigns promoting the UK tourism industry will not have the desired effect without changes to policies on visas, aviation and taxation.

The WTTC was reacting to an announcement made by Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, that the VisitBritain 'GREAT Britain' marketing campaign​ was set to receive an extra £8m to build on the success of London 2012.

Hunt has also revealed efforts to promote domestic tourism will get more cash to the tune of £2m.

While the London-based council, composed of representatives from travel and tourism businesses, welcomed the move, it argued extra money alone would not boost the tourism industry in the way Ministers hoped.

"Jeremy Hunt should be congratulated for recognising the huge economic and social potential of travel and tourism in the UK. But, the UK is beckoning tourists with one hand and pushing them away with the other," David Scowsill, president and chief executive of the WTTC, said.

Deterrent

Pointing to VisitBritain figures that suggest Chinese tourists spend more than £1k over the average spent by visitors from all countries, Scowsill called the decision to target the market in China as 'sensible'.

However he went on to argue more fundamental changes were needed to really attract overseas visitors to the country and help businesses who benefit from them.

"The UK has the highest air tax of any country in the world. Heathrow and Gatwick are effectively full and there is no discernible long-term aviation policy that will provide the routes to China on the scale being provided by other European countries," he said.

The tourism chief also echoed the British Hospitality Association (BHA)​ by slamming the visa system for tourists from key growth markets as 'expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome' and a 'deterrent'.

Private sector

Just yesterday VisitEngland announced the launch of a number of local tourism marketing campaigns​ as part of a project funded by the organisation, the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the private sector.

Speaking to BigHospitality, a spokesperson for the WTTC said: "The cash injection will be more beneficial to boost UK tourism than just the Government's money on its own. However the WTTC still believes that a much more fundamental reform of visa, taxation and aviation policy in the UK is required to make a real difference."

Related news

Show more

Spotlight

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers