In a speech to the tourism sector Culture Secretary Maria Miller recently outlined plans for Britain’s aim to welcome 40 million overseas visitors per year, spending £31.5 billion, by 2020.
The strategy, produced by national tourism agency Visit Britain, will unite government and the travel industry with key public and private sector bodies in a long-term ambition for growth by supporting an extra 200,000 jobs across the country.
Last year Britain welcomed a record 31 million international tourists, who spent £18.6 billion. Our new target will see a 29% growth in visits, which will deliver an extra £8.7 billion in foreign exchange earnings (in real terms).
The growth strategy is built around four key areas:
- building on Britain’s improved international image
- increasing engagement with the travel trade
- broadening the product range on offer for inbound tourists
- making it easier to get to Britain
To help the strategy, VisitBritain has announced a £2 million, two-year partnership with Emirates to promote Britain overseas. The flight operator covers a vast network of routes across south-east Asia, Australia, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Maria Miller said: “Tourism is central to the government’s economic growth strategy. It’s worth £115 billion 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 VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign we are selling the best of Britain, building on strengths to boost tourism income right across the country.”
Chairman of VisitBritain, 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.”