Visit Britain has moved to deny that the 55 job cuts announced last week will affect its C&I offer, with spokesperson Elliott Frisby stating that he was “unaware of any business tourism or C&I sector redundancies”.
Exact details of the posts being axed are yet to be confirmed as Visit Britain is still in consultation, but Frisby said that most of the job losses would be in the publishing department of Visit Britain’s head office in London. Its print requirements, such as producing brochures, have fallen by 82% since 2004, when it moved to electronic communications, Frisby said: “A lot more of the publication work is done online now so we don’t have as much need to publish hard copy brochures.”
Elsewhere IT jobs created for the relaunch of the Visit Britain website are also being cut because the project is nearing completion. A number of the posts were freelance-based or on contract, Frisby said.
The Visit Britain Ireland office, which employs nine, will be shut down by the end of October. “The individual brands of Britain (Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and Enjoy England) have led on marketing Britain for a number of years, with Visit Britain providing agency support services,” said a statement from Visit Britain. “These brands are now sufficiently independent that Visit Britain can withdraw its support in Ireland, a mature market, with the national tourist boards of Britain assuming responsibility.”
Overall, around 30 of the job cuts are expected to be in London. Visit Britain is calling for voluntary redundancies and has begun consultation with staff.
While the Visit Britain statement said that “the restructuring is taking place to be better placed to take advantage of the London 2012 Olympic Games and to invest further in rapidly growing markets such as Asia”, and that it is creating about 10 new jobs, Visit London chief executive James Bidwell expressed concern: “As we gear up to London 2012, the tourism industry simply must have increased investment to ensure the delivery of the estimated £2bn of tourism legacy the Games will bring.”
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