(2) how many VisitBritain staff work on the Welcome to Britain Group;
(3) on what dates the Welcome to Britain Group has met; and when the group next plans to meet;
(4) on what dates (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department have met the Welcome to Britain Group in the last 12 months.
[holding answer 11 December 2008]: VisitBritain (VB) have advised that the Welcome to Britain Steering Group (WTBSG) have held quarterly meetings over the last 18 months and will meet again in February 2009. WTBSG last met on 1 December 2008. Members of the Public Diplomacy Partners Group (PDPG) attend these meetings. However, lead responsibility for the PDPG will shortly be passing to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
VisitBritain provide Welcome to Britain with one full-time head of project, one full-time manager and a small internal working group of between six to eight staff who meet bimonthly. VisitBritain is currently chair of the WTBSG.
The WTB initiative is an integral part of the DCMS 2012 tourism strategy and as such is fully integrated within that. Although no meetings with Ministers have taken place, the most recent meeting with the Tourism Ministerial Advisory Group was on 28 October 2008 at the House of Commons.