Treasury urged to avoid cuts to VisitBritain

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Treasury urged to avoid cuts to VisitBritain
The Treasury is facing pressure to recognise the importance of the UK’s national tourist boards amid fears their budgets could be slashed in the Autumn Statement next month.

Concerns are growing within the industry that the upcoming spending review could see the axe fall on non-protected departments such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The result could mean a dramatic reduction in budgets for tourism boards VisitEngland and VisitBritain.

Now Deidre Wells - the chief executive of tourism trade association UKInbound - has written to George Osborne calling on the Government to protect the sector.

She said: “VisitBritain and VisitEngland are recognised universally as having done an enormous amount to deliver the step change in visitor numbers to the UK which we have seen in recent years.

“However, both organisations suffered cuts in the previous spending round which resulted in core activity, such as business support and the overseas network being reduced dramatically.

“There is a real concern within the industry that a further cut in this spending round - to an already modest budget - will have a serious impact on vital services.

“Every extra visitor who comes to the UK brings an additional £630 in export earnings and contributes £216 to the Exchequer; therefore supporting VisitBritain and VisitEngland in growing this industry further is sensible economics.”

VisitBritain welcomes £10m funding for Northern tourism

UKInbound said a survey of its 350 members found that 80 per cent credited support from local or national tourist boards as being important to their business.

The Treasury said the Autumn Statement – which will be announced on 25 November – would set out how the Government will deliver ‘the £20 billion further savings required to eliminate Britain’s deficit by 2019/2020.’

Related topics: Business, Travel & Tourism

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