£27 million boost for UK tourism


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The Independent Online

UK tourism was boosted today when the Government announced an extra £27 million grant for the VisitBritain organisation.

The money for the national tourism agency will help promote Britain in key overseas markets in a concerted effort to drive greater numbers of visitors over the next four years.

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "This additional funding means we will be able to run the largest tourism marketing campaign in our history.

"New Yorkers will see our ads in their papers and on the subway as they travel to work, meaning 72% of our target audience there will have a myriad of opportunities to see our campaign. In India and Paris we will also be on cinema screens, while in China we will reach over 15 million potential visitors through a combination of magazines, subway and station ads, as well as using various online platforms."

She went on: "Our targets are ambitious, but inbound tourism is already Britain's third-largest earner of foreign exchange and we know more can be done.

"Our research indicates tourism has the potential to be one of the five fastest growing sectors of the UK in the years ahead, creating new jobs and helping sustain economic growth. Today's significant announcement will go a long way to helping us achieve that aim."

The grant was announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as the four-day travel trade exhibition, World Travel Market, opened in London.

Mr Hunt also launched a new campaign, by VisitEngland, to encourage Britons to holiday at home.

"Our ambition is to get the same proportion of people holidaying in the UK as go abroad for their vacation," he said.

The campaign is also expected to bring in £489 million in extra spending by tourists, and 5.3 million more nights away on short breaks.

The scheme will offer a discount of 20.12% off hotel rooms and is backed by a TV advert supported by £4 million from the Government's Olympic budget.