Visit Britain warns entire business tourism team at risk of redundancy

Visit Britain's four-strong business tourism team is facing the axe as part of cost-cutting measures now under consultation.

Visit Britain's business tourism team to be axed
Visit Britain's business tourism team to be axed

Simon Mills, the head of business visits and events and partner marketing at the tourism body, is facing redundancy along with three other members of the business tourism team.

Redundancies

The cuts are part of a wider round of potential redundancies, which will reduce Visit Britain’s staff by around 30%, or up to 70 posts.

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

As part of the planned budget reduction, Visit Britain is also pulling out of shows including EIBTM, Imex and ILTM.

Closed down

Visit Britain’s strategy and communications director Patricia Yates told C&IT the proposed business tourism cuts meant the unit being "closed down".

"We have been given a fixed sum of money and that has meant a real re-focus," she said. "We have to look at the skills we need and the job we have been given to do. The national bodies, Visit England and Visit Scotland, are very active and we are talking to them about if they need to expand their work."

Consultation

The 90-day consultation period for redundancies closes at the end of April, and a total of 23 new posts are also being created.

"We hope with voluntary redundancies and new posts we will keep as many people as possible," added Yates. "We would like to keep them employed in the organisation where we can."

Ill-advised

Eventia chairman Mark Saxby told C&IT the cuts were "completely the wrong thing to be doing at the wrong time".

"We need to be setting everything in place to maximise the opportunity of the Olympics," he added. "It is incredibly short-term and ill-advised. As a nation we have the biggest platform to promote our country on a global basis and get a legacy in business benefits."

Visit London

Visit London is also facing cuts in April when it is merged into a single tourism body called Promote London, along with Think London and Study London. The three bodies combined will have 20% less budget than as separate entities.

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