Press release

Culture Secretary calls for post-Olympic tourism revolution

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

£8 million marketing campaign aiming to triple the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK, further investment in domestic tourism, plus increase sport and cultural tourism.

* £8 million marketing campaign targeting Chinese visitors
* £2 million to boost domestic tourism marketing
* More domestic package breaks
* Boosting sport tourism
* Supporting cultural tourism

An £8 million marketing campaign aiming to triple the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK, further investment in domestic tourism, plus increased sport and cultural tourism are at the heart of a renewed drive to create a lasting tourism legacy from the success of London 2012.

The strategy, to be set out later today by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a speech to tourism leaders, will show how the Government will work with the industry to make sure that the UK makes the very most of being in the global spotlight this year.

The key planks of the strategy will include:

  • Investing £8 million to expand the GREAT marketing campaign from 2013 - with a strong focus on China, aiming to triple the number of visitors from this key growth market. This has the potential to generate more than £500 million in extra visitor spend and create more than 14,000 new jobs.

  • Investing a further £2 million in domestic tourism marketing, to be increased with match funding from the industry, to build on the success of VisitEngland’s 20.12 per cent ‘Holiday at Home’ campaign.

  • Doubling the number of domestic package breaks being booked online by asking VisitEngland to bring together website retailers, car rental groups, train companies, airlines and hotel groups.

  • Exploiting the role of sport as a magnet for tourists by making the most of the opportunities of hosting upcoming world cups in rugby league, rugby union, and cricket - as well as the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the World
    Athletic Championships in 2017.

  • A new focus on developing cultural tourism by looking at how the UK can build on the extraordinary success of Festival 2012. Mr Hunt has asked Tony Hall (Chair, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board) and Ruth Mackenzie (Director, London Festival 2012) to look at the feasibility of a ‘London or UK-wide Biennale’ - a biannual arts festival to celebrate the best of our culture.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said:

“The Olympics have been for Britain what Usain Bolt is for athletics - something that grabs the attention of the whole world and refuses to let it go. From the wonder of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony to the most incredible sporting achievements, the Games have been a fantastic showcase for our country. We must use this extraordinary year to turbo-charge our tourism industry, to create jobs and prosperity on the back of a globally-enhanced reputation.”

These new initiatives will continue to capitalise on the huge success of the GREAT campaign, launched by the Prime Minister last year, to capitalise on the economic benefits of the Games across 17 key international cities, and promote Britain as the best place in the world to invest, visit and study.

Notes to editors

  1. The speech 2012 - Our best ever tourism year is available on the DCMS website.
  • The GREAT initiative is an international campaign to maximise the tourism and business opportunities of the UK hosting the 2012 Games. It involves representatives from across the political spectrum and non-government partners.

  • Copies of VisitBritain’s GREAT ads being used in each country, along with a copy of the television commercial being aired across the globe and other GREAT material are available for use at the VisitBritain website

  • VisitBritain’s campaign will target nine countries worldwide, with adverts appearing in 14 key cities: Beijing, Berlin, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto. Around 70 per cent of the population in each of the target cities will see the advertising on billboards, TV, or in the cinema. For further information about VisitBritain’s campaign please contact David Leslie on 0207 578 1141 / 07880563476.

  • The Government Olympic Communication (GOC) provides an integrated press office service on behalf of all UK Government Departments and Agencies from the arrival of the Olympic Torch on 18 May to the end of the Paralympic Games on 9 September. Visit our news website at or follow us on Twitter @2012govpress.

Press Enquiries: 020 7211 2210
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 6000