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Tourism: Marketing

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps his Department has taken to promote tourism in Britain. (311298)

VisitBritain are responsible for marketing Britain overseas as a tourist destination, and VisitEngland are responsible for marketing England to British residents. Some of the recent initiatives that have been undertaken to attract tourists to Britain include the ‘Value for Money’ campaign for which VisitBritain and VisitEngland invested £6.5 million over the spring and summer 2009.

The overseas ‘Value for Money’ campaign involved an investment of £3.5 million and reached 18 markets in 21 languages and was undertaken in close co-operation with the airlines Easyjet and British Airways. VisitBritain’s office in the USA also launched a campaign with Virgin Atlantic to stimulate travel to the UK which involved an investment of US$1 million.

The domestic ‘Value for Money’ campaign involved an investment of £3million in VisitEngland’s ‘Enjoy Every Minute, Enjoy England’ campaign, which was designed to stimulate more day visits, short breaks and holidays in England. In the first nine months of 2009 visits by UK residents in England increased by 6 per cent.

In July 2009 England secured the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and the Rugby Union World Cup in 2015. These sporting events will present many tourism opportunities, as will the recent announcement that there will be an additional Bank holiday during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. British tourism will also benefit from the launch last July of a competition to find the nation’s first ‘City of Culture’. 14 bids are now being considered. Becoming Britain’s ‘City of Culture’ in 2013 will stimulate the city’s visitor economy.

2012 also provides a powerful opportunity to promote tourism and we are working to ensure that we use the 2012 games to maximise the economic benefits for the British tourism industry.

In addition, the overall level of public sector investment in tourism from local, regional and national sources is likely to exceed £2 billion in the current spending review period. The Government believe this public investment is a good and reasonable investment in support for the tourism and hospitality industry.