The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook is currently gathering news items for major features on the economic importance of our tourism and travel industries in the next edition. We reported earlier in the year on the launch and progress of the GREAT campaign and are now following closely the impact of the Olympics on the industry
In February this year, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched Britain’s biggest ever tourism campaign.
VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign aims to attract an extra 4.6 million extra visitors to the UK over the next four years, securing an additional £2.3 billion in visitor spend. The UK will be in the world spotlight this year, and the GREAT campaign is part of the UK Government’s drive to make the most of this opportunity as the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee and the country hosts the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
The strategy, set out earlier this week by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a speech to tourism leaders, shows 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.
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 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.
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.
The Parliamentary Year book will assess the result of the campaign and the effect this has as it becomes evident. This will form part of a major feature in the next edition