Government gives priority to tourism development

Culture Secretary Maria Miller has outlined a tourism partnership strategy for Britain while marketing body VisitBritain is launching a £2m partnership with Emirates targeting the Gulf states.

Maria Miller

Miller called upon the travel industry and Government, together with key public and private bodies, to join forces to “retain a competitive edge” against other travel destinations at an event today (April 30). She said: “Tourism is central to the Government’s economic growth strategy.”

Miller called upon the travel industry and Government, together with key public and private bodies, to join forces to “retain a competitive edge” against other travel destinations and underlined that tourism is worth £115 billion a year.

She said that the growth strategy will be built on four pillars: building on Britain’s improved international image post London Olympics 2012; increasing engagement with the travel trade; broadening the product range on offer for inbound tourists and making it easier to get to Britain.

VisitBritain works with the Government on a number of initiatives, including marking efforts under the “GREAT” strapline.

The tourism body is now looking to build business from the Gulf States such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and Kuwait City as well as the already identified BRIC territories and established markets and is setting up a new regional hub in Dubai,

The two year partnership with Emirates airline will promote Britain in the region in a deal that combines marketing in kind and cash payments.

Director of marketing Joss Croft, , appointed in November last year, told Marketing Week: “We recognise a big opportunity for growth out of that market” and pointed out that the airline alliance gives access to large network of routes and destinations across South East Asia, Australia, India and links to regional gateways across Britain.

He added that by 2016 the body forecasts that 700,000 visitors will be welcomed from the region representing a 32 per cent increase.

VisitBritain is now entering the third year of a four year plan to secure a £100m match funded budget with the help of the private sector. Croft says that the initiative is on target in terms of funding and outcomes.

Commenting on the boost to Britain’s profile from the London 2012 Olympics, Croft said: “There is a buzz out there but we only have a short window of opportunity to benefit from the interest generated.”

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