The tourism industry makes a huge contribution to our economy and plays a crucial role in showcasing the best of Britain to visitors from home and abroad.
So it was right that the spending review delivered good news for the sector with an increase in GREAT funding, a new £40 million Discover England Fund and maintained budgets for VisitBritain and VisitEngland.
Since 2012 our tourism sector has performed strongly, buoyed by the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic and Paralympic Games among other major events – but we can’t stand still in an increasingly competitive market if we are to continue to enjoy growth. Greater coordination in the industry is vital.
That is why we are bringing VisitBritain and VisitEngland closer together and consolidating responsibility under the British Tourist Authority.
Strengthening our tourism offer and its successful promotion overseas are two sides of the same coin and staff across both organisations must work towards the same goal to further grow the visitor economy.
This new way of working is central to the Prime Minister’s vision for tourism and will ensure that communities across the UK benefit from tourism growth.
VisitEngland will continue to have a strong, important voice with its funding ring-fenced and its board will advise on how best to deliver English tourism – not least through the new Discover England fund.
VisitEngland will also continue to have its own brand and a dedicated team of staff who will work with destinations across the country to improve their tourism offer.
British tourism is a huge success and an industry we can all be incredibly proud of. I know that by working together we will make sure that the benefits of this fantastic sector are shared across the whole country.