The new Government Tourism Policy was published in March 2011 and in the foreward to the document the Prime Minister, David Cameron, outlined what makes this policy special:
“Our aim is clear, we want to take tourism in Britain to a whole new level and harness the huge potential this area holds to grow our economy……For the first time, Government has a tourism strategy that reaches right across Whitehall, looking at policies from a tourism perspective.”
VisitEngland welcomes this appreciation of the opportunities tourism offers our country and of its cross-cutting nature. As those working in the industry know tourism touches and has the power to benefit so many areas of society and it is most encouraging to see it receiving this solid endorsement from Government.
The stated aims of the Policy are to:
Fund the most ambitious marketing campaign ever to attract visitors to the UK in the years following 2012. The £100m campaign, co-funded by the government and the private sector, aims to attract 4 million extra visitors to Britain over the next 4 years. That equates to £2bn more spend in our economy, and 50,000 new jobs.
Increase the proportion of UK residents who holiday in the UK to match those who holiday abroad each year. For longer stays (4 nights or more) this would mean 29%2 of travellers holidaying in Britain rather than just 20% today (creating 4.5m extra domestic trips each year, £1.3bn more spend and 26,000 new jobs). And if we can replicate this scale of improvement for shorter stays as well, we will create a further £750m of spend and 11,000 new jobs.
Improve the sector’s productivity to become one of the top five most efficient and competitive visitor economies in the world.
The Policy covers a wide range of issues which affect either the productivity of the industry or the quality of the visitor experience. The Minister has agreed that the Action Plans arising from Strategic Framework for Tourism in England will provide an effective channel for delivery of the Policy. To this effect weekly meetings have been scheduled between VisitEngland’s CEO and the Minister and his team to report on progress and to identify potential impediments to its success.
Below are highlighted those headline areas within the Policy which particularly relate to VisitEngland’s business plan and which may also impact on VisitEngland’s future engagement with industry.