VisitBritain has launched a consultation on growth strategy for inbound tourism to Britain, with an ambition to reach 40 million visitors by 2020.
The strategy hopes to build upon the positive showcasing of Britain during the recent Olympic Games in London, with initial research indicating that the coverage has positively shifted perceptions of Britain, its creativity, heritage, culture, arts and welcome.
Chairman of VisitBritain Christopher Rodrigues said: “This summer has shown what the country can do when we are united in a common cause. This country showed passion, professionalism, drive and energy to stage the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games. The test now is whether we can maintain this to create wealth and jobs through a major tourism drive.
“This consultation with the industry, the public agencies and multiple Government departments that care about tourism and impact on its success has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships. International tourism is a growth industry but the global marketplace is getting tougher as other countries have recognised the potential of the sector. Britain can succeed if we focus – aligning priorities, investment and activity.
“Tourism is the industry that can deliver the economic legacy of the 2012 Games. It is an industry that can deliver jobs quickly – right across Britain and at all skills levels – and much needed economic growth. Every £40,000 spent by overseas visitors to Britain can create a new job. International tourism is our third-largest earner of foreign exchange and contributed £3.1 billion to the nation’s coffers directly in taxation in 2011.”
The UK already welcomes 31 million visitors from across the world, who last year spent £18 billion. Tourism contributes £115 billion to UK GDP and provides employment for 2.6 million people.
The strategy sets out four key elements: enhancing Britain’s image; ensuring Britain is on the shelf; building on Britain’s strong product; and making it easier to get here. Responses to shape the final tourism strategy are welcome to email@example.com The consultation period runs until 9 November, at which point responses will be considered before the final strategy is launched.
Image: ©VisitBritain / Sheradon Dublin