VisitBritain reviews its plans to maximise the tourism benefits of 2012 Olympics

Monday 25, October 2010


VisitBritain reviews its plans to maximise the tourism benefits of 2012 Olympics


VisitBritain is to review its operations further to keep its Olympic tourism strategy on course after a reduced four-year budget settlement, its chairman Christopher Rodrigues said today.


He spoke after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport set a new, lower funding level for the national tourism agency. In cash terms it will be £26.5 million in 2011/12 reducing to £21.2 million in 2014/15. This compares with the current year’s grant in aid of £28.8 million.


In real terms, after accounting for inflation, it amounts to a 34% reduction.


Mr Rodrigues said “This Government understands the value VisitBritain brings to Britain’s tourism industry, but this is tough love. Visit Britain will respond to the settlement by further cutting overheads and reducing its physical network overseas to retain as much money as possible for our global marketing effort.”


Mr Rodrigues said: “It is less than two years until the eyes of the world will be on the opening ceremony of the London Games. We have a great chance to use the unprecedented level of media exposure that the event will bring to boost Britain’s image abroad. We are determined to do our utmost, despite this reduced funding, to grasp that opportunity and are already in discussions with Ministers about how to create the strongest possible campaign around the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote this country as a tourism destination working in partnership with the private sector.


Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain added: ’While this is a significant reduction in our funding, it does not change our objectives, which remain sound. These are: inspiring the world to visit and explore Britain, delivering a global network capable of promoting Britain; championing the tourism industry and creating a sustained increase in UK tourism as a result of the Olympics.


"Our aim now is to tighten our focus clearly onto the UK’s key markets: ones that are already delivering for us and those emerging markets that are key to our future. We will use new technology including our award-winning suite of multi-lingual websites, social media platforms and international public relations expertise to maintain our global footprint as well as a staffed presence in key locations."





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