£100bn visitor economy boost from Visit Britain

Visit Britain has announced two new strategies to propel the visitor economy towards £100 billion by 2010. A four-pronged approach will enhance Visit Britain’s marketing in key areas – customer, brand, product and channel – and a number of priorities have been identified for the next three years. They will help convert growing consumer interest about visiting Britain by providing services that will help them not only look at all the destination offers, but also to visit. Visit Britain chairman Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge said: “Hitting our £100bn target by 2010 will be a tough challenge against some formidable competitors. Government and the commercial sector must continue to make long-term investment if we are fully to realise the potential of the visitor economy. But the prize is great and we are determined to succeed. “The tourism industry is a vital component of Britain’s national economy. International consumers spend £13 billion ‘buying’ British tourism – that’s more than they spend buying crude oil, vehicles or food, beverages and tobacco from us.” The strategies build on Visit Britain’s achievements during its second full year of operation, during which time it has: helped to grow the value of the UK’s inbound visitor economy by over ten per cent generated £3.8 billion of incremental international visitor spend and £145 million incremental domestic visitor spend generated a return on every £1 invested by the Government of 47:1 through international activities and 11:1 through domestic initiatives entered four new international markets for Britain influenced an extra half a million people to take holidays or short breaks in England organised 1,000 visits by international and British journalists and assisted in the generation of articles and broadcasts worth nearly £500 million Speaking as the strategies were launched to tourism industry partners at the Radisson Edwardian May Fair Hotel in London, tourism minister James Purnell MP, said: "The UK tourism industry has shown great resourcefulness and determination in the face of difficulty this year.”

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