Today VisitBritain launched its annual review, outlining inbound tourism performance, how it has been working to deliver Olympic legacy in 2013 and sharing priorities for the year ahead.
A year on from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - the ultimate showcase for what we had to offer tourists - VisitBritain made significant progress on its four year marketing programme and long-term tourism growth strategy.
In 2012 Britain welcomed over 31 million inbound visitors, who altogether contributed more than £18.6 billion to the economy. 2013 has seen further progress on this strong performance. In the first seven months of this year spending by visitors increased by 13% in nominal terms to £11.2 billion − a record high.
In addition, the GREAT Britain marketing campaign, which VisitBritain operates jointly across government, continues to be a success. Over the past two years it has contributed at least £960 million to the British economy. For every £1 spent by VisitBritain overseas, £19 is spent by overseas visitors in Britain.
VisitBritain’s partnership model, drawing in private sector investment to promote Britain overseas, continues to bloom. It is well on track to hit the target of £50 million of private sector match funding by the end of the 2014/15 financial year. In the past twelve months, VisitBritain has worked with partners such as British Airways, easyJet, Expedia and STA Travel. Beyond the travel and tourism industries, the 50th anniversary of Bond saw a partnership with Sony Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox to generate PR exposure worth over £36 million in AVE. Its on-going partnership with the Barclays Premier League has helped VisitBritain reach over 70 million people.
Over the next year VisitBritain will concentrate its efforts in four areas: image, product, travel trade and access. There is much to look forward to in 2014, with a number of strong opportunities to inspire people to visit Britain, including the Commonwealth Games in Scotland and the centenary of the birth of Welsh writer Dylan Thomas.
Launching the review, Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain said: “Our challenge was to turn aspiration into action; to convert the enthusiasm of London 2012 into sustained increases in awareness and intention to visit. I am delighted to report that over the last twelve months VisitBritain has capitalised on this golden opportunity for tourism.
“Our overall strategic aim for 2014 is to build on our international image, engage further with the travel trade, broaden the product range on offer for tourists and make it easier to get to Britain. Through a strong partnership – government, tourist board and industry – I am confident we will achieve the goals we have set ourselves.”
Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism, commented: “I want to do all I can to help deliver further growth for the tourism sector, building on the great success of 2012 when we showcased the best of Britain to the world. I look forward to working closely with VisitBritain and the wider tourism industry to encourage more people to come to Britain and enjoy the great culture and heritage we have to offer.”
In April, VisitBritain set out an ambitious tourism strategy with the objective to welcome 40 million overseas visitors to Britain by 2020 and create a further 200,000 jobs across the length and breadth of the UK.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com