Visit Britain on Government Tourism Policy

4 March 2011

 EMBARGO: Not for publication or use before 00.01 on 4 March 2011


VisitBritain welcomes the Government Tourism Policy, published today, and the continuing recognition of tourism’s ability to support the wider growth agenda.

Tourism is a sector with the potential to create new jobs and economic growth. It already contributes, both directly and indirectly, £115 billion each year to the UK economy, and employs 2.6 million people. Our 30 million inbound visitors make tourism the UK’s third largest earner of foreign exchange. And the industry has the potential to be one of the five fastest growing sectors of the UK economy.

The Policy sets out VisitBritain’s key priority; delivering a four-year match funded global marketing programme which takes advantage of the unique opportunity of the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games to showcase Britain and attract new visitors.

This campaign will attract four million extra visitors to Britain, who will spend an additional £2 billion, and stimulate the creation of 50,000 new jobs.

VisitBritain will also continue to provide research; market intelligence and analysis to inform the British tourism industry and to deliver on its statutory duty to advise Government on matters related to tourism, in particular those areas that affect Britain’s global competitiveness.

Our international network is active in 21 countries that deliver 80% of inbound tourism spend. This global footprint enables us to provide analysis and advice on the issues facing potential visitors and the barriers to inbound tourism growth.

The Tourism Policy also sets out a goal to make Britain one of the five most efficient and competitive visitor economies in the world.

Whilst the UK is a world class destination, tourism is an increasingly competitive business. Britain needs to focus on attracting visitors from key emerging markets such as China, Brazil India and Russia as well as anchoring our performance in the markets that deliver tourism revenues today such as the USA and Northern Europe. We should look at our key competitors and ask why France attracted eight times more visitors from China last year than Britain, and Germany six times more visitors.

The Tourism Policy picks up some key areas for improvements- the visitor visa application process and the welcome that visitors experience on arrival in the UK. Britain also benefits from uniquely strong international connections, with nearly 1,500 air routes. Capitalising on that strength is crucial and VisitBritain will continue to work with stakeholders from the aviation and maritime sectors, as well as the Home Office and Department for Transport on the Welcome to Britain project.

Sandie Dawe, VisitBritain’s chief executive said: “Today’s publication of a new Tourism Policy shows an understanding across Government of the potential for tourism to deliver economic growth and jobs throughout Britain.

“VisitBritain’s clear priority over the next 4 years is to deliver a £100m, match funded, global marketing programme, which will yield four million extra visitors to Britain, £2 billion extra spending within the economy, and stimulate the creation of 50,000 new jobs.

“Britain is a world class tourism destination, and it is vital that we continue to compete effectively. VisitBritain will continue to advise Government on tourism, particularly in areas that affect Britain’s global competitiveness such as visas and transport infrastructure.”



For further information, please contact:

Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications on 07971 497 003 (who will be at DCMS for the launch)



Mark Di-Toro, Corporate Press Officer on 020 7578 1098 or 07919 392 137


Notes to Editors

·  VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing the UK’s visitor economy.

·  Every year 12million visits are made by international consumers to the 30 websites that make up VisitBritain’s global family of websites,, which together provide information in 21 different languages.

·  VisitBritain is a Non-Departmental Public Body whose prime sponsor is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

· Follow us on twitter @VisitBritainBiz or our consumer Twitter @VisitBritain and

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