VisitBritain calls for extra funding

VisitBritain is urging the Government to help fund a major marketing push to promote UK holiday destinations. The call comes in the wake of a drop in visitor numbers according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The national tourism body is calling for a private-public partnership to fund and promote the value for money UK holiday destinations can offer tourists, in particular those from the US.

The body wants the Government to back a campaign it is planning to launch in spring and take advantage of the depreciating pound against the US dollar and the Euro to encourage more foreign visitors.

The number of visitors have fallen to 9.3 million for the quarter ending September, a 3% drop from the same quarter in 2007, according to the ONS. In addition, international visitor spending decreased 2% to £5.1bn.

VisitBritain chief executive Tom Wright says: “The recent fall in sterling and the approaching Olympics in 2012 give us a tremendous opportunity to promote Britain’s attractions as a destination to the world, but the likely onset of the global recession makes our work and the support we receive ever more critical.”

A new report from Deloitte further warns that 114,000 jobs and £11bn could be at risk from the recession over the next three years.

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