Culture Secretary outlines strategy to grow UK tourism by 29%

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tourism, Britain

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said tourism was central to the Government's economic growth strategy
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said tourism was central to the Government's economic growth strategy
Culture Secretary Maria Miller has outlined a strategy to help grow tourism to the UK by 29 per cent over the next seven years.

At an event organised by national tourism agency VisitBritain earlier today Miller called for the travel sector and the Government to work together in order to achieve the UK's target of welcoming 40 million overseas visitors by 2020 which could generate £31.5bn in income and create an extra 200,000 jobs. 

The strategy, based around four key objectives, calls for: 

  • Britain to build on its improved international image
  • The Government to increase engagement with the travel industry
  • A broadening of the product range on offer for inbound tourists
  • A way of making it easier for tourists to get to Britain

GREAT campaign 

Part of the strategy will aim to be delivered through VisitBritain's GREAT marketing campaign which will promote the nation to growth markets such as Brazil, China and the Gulf along with established markets of USA, France and Germany.

Today VisitBritain said had entered a £2 million, two-year partnership with Emirates to promote Britain in the markets the airline covers. The deal will include a combination of marketing in kind and cash payments and will see VisitBritain set up a regional hub in Dubai to help it reach more people there and across the region. 

"Emirates injects over £368m each year into the local economies of the six gateways we operate from and in 2012, we carried almost 1.8 million visitors into the UK, so this partnership is a natural extension of bolstering the convenience of our Dubai hub to seamlessly connect travellers from South East Asia, Australia, India and the Middle East to world-renowned attractions in Britain," said Emirates president Tim Clark. 

Central to growth

Last year 31 million international visitors came to Britain spending a record £18.6bn. The aim with the strategy is to grow visits by 29 per cent by 2020, which would deliver an extra £8.7bn in foreign exchange earnings. 

Miller said the tourism sector was central to the growth of the economy and supported one in 12 jobs in the UK.

“Tourism is central to the Government’s economic growth strategy. It’s worth £115bn to our economy a year and we need to ensure we retain a competitive edge and can compete with other destinations around the world. With the GREAT campaign we are selling the best of Britain, building on strengths to boost tourism income right across the country," she said. 

VisitBritain chairman Christopher Rodrigues added: "There are few British industries as strong as travel and tourism, and few have such growth potential. The success of our travel industry not only helps the economy, but is key to Britain's image and its trading power around the world. There is no better time for us to capitalise on the increased interest there is in coming here and deliver a Golden Legacy for Britain.”

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1 comment

" A lot of wind for a few knots"

Posted by Pau Ramis,

Halving the VAT the industry charges its clients would raise the tourism numbers, both national and international, by a lot more than 29% - with a fraction of the effort to be invested in doing so, as opposed to that Ms Millar proposes. Why not do both?

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