Published on Monday, June 14, 2010

New Secretary of State sets challenge for tourism industry

The domestic travel industry has been set a challenge by the new Secretary of State, Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP.

He has called on the tourism sector to increase the proportion of domestic tourism spend by UK residents to 50%.

In 2008, Brits spent just 36% of their holiday money on domestic overnight tourism.

In his first speech, he said the Government wanted to:

- create a new fund with the aim of generating £1 billion worth of PR and marketing activity in our priority markets in the years around 2012

- harness the full potential of 2012 to create a permanent tourism legacy for the whole country, creating a sustained and sustainable increase in the number of tourists visiting our shores

- review the web of quangos that affect tourism, aiming to simplify and focus support for the tourism industry, which is worth around £90 billion to the economy.

VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe said VisitBritain would rise to the challenge.

“We are already well positioned to pick up the baton, with a clear strategy to enhance our image as a visitor destination, maximise the economic benefits for tourism across the UK and deliver a world-class welcome to visitors in 2012 and beyond,” she said.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford added: “I echo the Secretary of State when he says we cannot take our success for granted - we must not stand still in this global competitive market.

“We look forward to working with the Secretary of State and Tourism Minister John Penrose to make the sector more effective so the industry can reach its full potential and maintain England’s position as one of the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations."

By Bev Fearis


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