Tourism body VisitBritain, which coordinates campaign activity marketing Britain overseas, welcomes the extra investment and forecasts a record-breaking 2014 in terms of visitor spend.
The national tourism agency’s believes visitor numbers will jump 2 per cent, returning to the pre financial crisis levels of 2008, and they will deliver a record spend of £21.5 billion, up 4.2%.
The Government plans to allocate £45 million to the GREAT campaign in 2014/15 and £45 million in 2015/16. This is an increase on this year’s allocation of £30 million.
VisitBritain’s share of the funding will see the agency continue to market Britain internationally using the GREAT image campaign.
The GREAT campaign was launched by the Government in September 2011 to capitalise on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Britain hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
GREAT activity promotes Britain internationally as a place to visit and do business and has featured British stars from the worlds of sport, entertainment and the creative industries including David and Victoria Beckham, Andy Murray, Helena Bonham Carter and Vivienne Westwood.
In its 2014 forecast VisitBritain expects to see continued strong growth from emerging markets, particularly Malaysia, South Korea, China and Mexico.
Trends likely to help inbound visitors include new flight routes from Chengdu, Beijing, Manila and Jakarta together with recently announced improvements to Chinese and Gulf visa processes to enter Britain.
VisitBritain had its own funding cut by five per cent this year to below £20m but in recent years it has enjoyed success in pursuing a strategy of “match funding” with commercial partners for campaigns.
An Ipsos MORI survey earlier this year of 15,000 potential visitors commissioned by VisitBritain found those that recall seeing the GREAT campaign are twice as likely to visit than those that did not, 23 per cent compared with 11 per cent.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive at VisitBritain says: “Government investment in the millions will bring tourism returns in the billions. This year is set to be a record – it just goes to show what can be achieved with a clear strategy and cooperation across all the major Government agencies promoting Britain overseas.”