Visit Britain business tourism activity to be cut

Visit Britain is making 70 staff redundant and closing its activities in 14 countries in a drive to cut costs.

Visit Britain cuts will affect business tourism
Visit Britain cuts will affect business tourism

Visit Britain learned in October its budget would be cut 34% by 2014/15, taking it from £28.8m to £21.2m.

A consultation is now underway to cut staff by up to 30% - a total of 70 posts – with the results to be announced in April.

Business tourism activity

As part of the cuts, Visit Britain plans to reduce its level of business tourism activity, with more focus on the sector by national tourism bodies, such as Visit England and Visit Scotland.

Visit England head of marketing Alex Mawer said: "Business tourism is very important to us and particularly given the change elsewhere."

Meanwhile, Visit Scotland's UK marketing manager Lindsay Brown said the body would be "discussing what the implications will be with the team and international marketing managers".

"It is business as usual for us, but we have got the government elections coming up in May and are likely to have a new tourism minister and that could change things as well," added Brown.  

However, Visit Britain will provide a bid support service to attract international conferences, conventions and major sporting events.

Co-location

Visit Britain and Visit England will remain co-located at their offices at 1 Palace Street in London, sharing HR, IT and finance services, an arrangement that has run since October 2009.

The tourism body’s chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "This proposed new structure and focus reflects our priorities and is in line with our four-year funding settlement. I have every confidence in the professionalism and passion of my team to deliver on our ambitions and for our partners and the whole tourism industry."

Business Visits and Events Partnership chairman Michael Hirst said he was planning a meeting with Dawe.

"I am disappointed about the cuts, but the announcement indicates some level of continuing support for bids and events," said Hirst. "The devil is in the detail and the industry needs to strengthen relationships with national boards, teh Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and UKTI, where more support may be available." 

Visit London

Visit London is also undergoing structural change, to be finalised in April
, that will see it merged into a new body called Promote London, along with Study London and Think London.

The single body – which aims to cut inefficiencies – will have an overall budget reduction of 20% compared to the three separate organisations.


Overseas presence

Visit Britain will also cut its presence overseas from 35 markets to 21, based in 24 key cities.

It is proposing to withdraw from: Argentina; Czech Republic; Finland; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Portugal; Singapore; South Africa and Thailand.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
In pictures: The Mayfair Townhouse to open September 2020

In pictures: The Mayfair Townhouse to open September 2020

Iconic Luxury Hotels' new London property will have 172 rooms, a bar, a private gym and event spaces.

Incentive review: An action-packed countryside weekend at Gleneagles

Incentive review: An action-packed countryside weekend at Gleneagles

A luxury Scottish escape with whiskey tastings and outdoor activities including clay-pigeon shooting and archery.

DRPG acquires London agency Firehouse

DRPG acquires London agency Firehouse

Global agency’s acquisition of communications specialists Firehouse continues its recent growth.

C&IT redesigns magazine and website

C&IT redesigns magazine and website

Same great content but now with even more essential insight for event planners, says editor Calum Di Lieto.

‘At 11am we had nothing - by 7pm guests were walking into an awards ceremony’

‘At 11am we had nothing - by 7pm guests were walking into an awards ceremony’

Dan Broadberry discusses being on the 2019 A-List and how a ‘catastrophic’ storm may have helped him get there.

Exclusive: GPJ comments on Mobile World Congress coronavirus cancellation

Exclusive: GPJ comments on Mobile World Congress coronavirus cancellation

MWC in Barcelona will not go ahead, as one senior agency planner says brands took action after consulting chief medical officers.

Noisettes vocalist stars at Americana Music Association UK Awards

Noisettes vocalist stars at Americana Music Association UK Awards

London’s Troxy hosted the ceremony for 1,500 guests, featuring performances from special guests including Shingai Shoniwa.

Avantgarde London boosts senior leadership team

Avantgarde London boosts senior leadership team

Head of client services and operations director are promoted by the agency as it continues to grow.

What does the future of experiential events look like?

What does the future of experiential events look like?

Planning luxury experiential events needs to feel authentic, says Adam Blackwood of Private Drama Events.

How to treat your events like a start-up

How to treat your events like a start-up

Beta-test, prototype and iterate as you would for a tech product, says Set Creative’s Harry Osborne.

LATEST JOBS