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Tourism: Greater London

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the UK's ability to encourage overseas visitors visiting London to visit the rest of the UK; and if she will make a statement. (141838)

DCMS provides funding of around £50 million per annum to VisitBritain, which promotes Britain as a whole. The Department's funding agreement with VisitBritain includes a target that, of the additional expenditure by inbound visitors generated by VisitBritain, a specified percentage should be achieved outside London. For 2005-06, the target was 55 per cent. and VisitBritain exceeded this by achieving a regional spread of 61 per cent.

Campaigns run by VisitBritain and enjoyEngland highlight attractions across the country to both inbound and domestic visitors. They target, for example, the growing demand for city breaks and the lifestyle market (including the appeal of food, sport, culture and family friendly attractions).

VisitBritain also co-funds (with Visit London) the Britain and London Visitor Centre. This acts as a gateway for visitors to learn about, and set out to explore, the rest of the country. VisitBritain’s quality assessment schemes for accommodation and visitor attractions ensure uniform national standards for visitors.

The Department, along with our partners, will shortly publish a strategy to ensure that the tourism sector makes the most of the opportunities provided by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. One of the principles of this will be that the benefits of the games are felt as widely as possible throughout the UK.