UK tourism is a global success story and one I am incredibly proud to champion as Tourism Minister.
While the overall Spending Review included difficult decisions, significant investments have been made in the sector. I am very grateful to you all for your input, which helped us make a compelling case for tourism.
Last year we attracted a record number of visits, but – as set out in the Prime Minister’s Five Point Plan for growing the industry – we want to make sure that more of our towns and cities across the UK share the economic benefits of tourism.
That’s why the Chancellor has given an extra £40 million for English tourism to help visitors discover our hidden gems, as well as our crown jewels, beyond London. Furthermore, the Chancellor has also confirmed that the GREAT campaign will continue, with an increase of funding to £60 million a year.
But with this extra money we also need greater coordination across the industry and Government, which is why we are now no longer separating VisitBritain and VisitEngland but are bringing them closer together.
I have also revamped the Tourism Council so that industry leaders have a strong voice in our new Inter-Ministerial Group on Tourism.
We will publish further details of the tourism settlement in the coming weeks, but stable tourism budgets to 2020 (flat cash), plus a £40 million Discover England fund and increased investment in GREAT, is a huge vote of confidence in the sector from a Government which is committed to its success.
I know there will be challenges ahead but by working together I hope we can aim high and continue to grow.