The UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced at World Travel Market that VisitBritain will benefit from a further £27 million of funding to help promote Britain in key overseas markets in a concerted effort to drive greater numbers of visitors to the country over the next four years.
Funding for the national tourism agency will be made available to capitalise on the international attention the UK will receive during 2012 – the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This will be in addition to the existing £100 million match-funded marketing campaign being run by VisitBritain, and means that over the next four years inbound tourism to the UK aims to attract an extra 4.6 million visitors, spending an additional £2.3 billion across the country and supporting the creation of almost 60,000 new jobs.
This initiative is part of the GREAT campaign launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in September to show the world that Britain is a great place to visit, to live, to invest and to do business with.
Chief Executive of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe, said: “This additional funding means we will be able to run the largest tourism marketing campaign in our history. We will be taking the GREAT brand into some of the most dynamic, fastest growing and economically important cities across the world to encourage a greater number of people to come and experience the very best of what Britain has to offer.
“New Yorkers will see our ads in their papers and on the subway as they travel to work, meaning 72% of our target audience there will have a myriad of opportunities to see our campaign. In India and Paris we will also be on cinemas screens, while in China we will reach over 15 million potential visitors through a combination of magazines, subway and station ads, as well as using various online platforms.
“Alongside the inspirational images that will inspire the world to put Britain on its destination wish list, tactical advertising with our industry partners will offer great deals to encourage people to visit now. This GREAT campaign aims to reinvigorate our appeal in mature markets such as the USA where we have seen decline in recent years, and it will help raise our profile in the vital emerging markets, securing growth for the future.
“Our targets are ambitious, but inbound tourism is already Britain’s third-largest earner of foreign exchange and we know more can be done. VisitBritain’s research indicates tourism has the potential to be one of the five fastest growing sectors of the UK in the years ahead, creating new jobs and helping sustain economic growth. Today’s significant announcement will go a long way to helping us achieve that aim.”