Visit Britain fears Olympic tourism could be jeopardised after 34% budget cut

Visit Britain is to review its Olympic tourism strategy after the Government reduced its four-year Olympic budget by 34%.

Visit Britain fears Olympic tourism could be jeapordised after 34% budget cut
Visit Britain fears Olympic tourism could be jeapordised after 34% budget cut
The quango, which recently survived a spate of cuts from the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, will have £26.5m to spend in 2011/12, reducing to £21.2m in 2014/15. This compares with this year’s grant of £28.8m.

After accounting for inflation, Visit Britain chairman Christopher Rodrigues said the cut amounts to a 34% reduction. As a result, the organisation has been forced to cut overheads and reduce its physical network overseas to retain money for its global marketing.

"This Government understands the value Visit Britain brings to Britain’s tourism industry, but this is tough love. It is less than two years until the eyes of the world will be on the opening ceremony," said Rodrigues. "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."

Visit Britain chief executive Sandie Dawe added: "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 [keeping] a staffed presence in key locations.’’

The news comes after a series of cuts to the tourism and event sectors.

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