Policy

Helping the UK tourism industry to grow

Issue

Tourism is one of the UK’s biggest industries. It helps to create wealth and jobs throughout the country and can bring new life to run-down communities.

We want to help tourism grow even further by funding campaigns and other promotional work that will inspire more people to visit and explore more parts of Britain.

As with other industries, we are also removing unnecessary rules that make it more difficult or expensive for tourism businesses to grow.

Actions

To help our tourism industry reach its full potential, we are taking the following actions.

Funding VisitEngland

Alongside the private sector, we fund VisitEngland to run marketing campaigns that encourage people living in the UK to take their holidays in England (known as ‘domestic tourism’).

With the help of VisitEngland campaigns, we want to increase the proportion of UK residents choosing to holiday in England to match those who holiday abroad.

Funding VisitBritain

Alongside the private sector, we are funding a £100 million campaign by VisitBritain to encourage international tourism. The GREATBritain image campaign has already provided more than £22 million to VisitBritain.

Together, we estimate both campaigns will bring 4.6 million extra visitors to Britain, £2.2 billion more spending in our economy and over 60,000 new jobs between 2011 and 2015.

Promoting the UK tourism industry

We work with the UK tourism industry to make it easier for it to grow by participating in international trade events and forums, advising it on ways to raise standards, and reviewing rules and regulations affecting the industry.

Ministers regularly meet with industry figures, host tourism roundtable meetings and go on regional visits, all with the aim of making better policy that helps the tourism industry to grow.

Background

The tourism industry generates about £115 billion for the economy each year and supports over 2.6 million jobs (2010 figures).

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games showcased the UK to the world. The media attention that went along with London 2012, from the Olympic Opening Ceremony to the Paralympic Closing Ceremony, showed the world all the attractions that make Britain an amazing place to visit.

We launched the GREAT campaign to extend the economic potential of London 2012 by promoting the things that make Britain outstanding. The themes of the campaign are: countryside, culture, heritage, creativity, entrepreneurs, green, innovation, knowledge, shopping, sport, music and technology.

One of the campaign’s main objectives is to increase the number of tourists visiting the UK. We have so far provided VisitBritain with over £22 million to run their part of the GREAT campaign until at least 2015. In December 2012, we announced that another £12 million would be spent on the tourism element of the GREAT campaign.

We also been helping tourism grow by:

  • making £1.7 million funding available to People 1st to provide 500 new apprenticeship places in the tourism industry and help create 15,000 jobs
  • simplifying the visa application process, publishing visa application guidance in 6 languages in 2011, setting up new online visa application forms and making it easier for tourists from China to apply for visas to travel to the UK
  • making 80 recommendations to change or reduce regulations, including 60 regulations in hospitality, food and drink, as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge

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