BVEP welcomes VisitBritain's tourism growth strategy

The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) has welcomed a new marketing strategy to drive tourists to Britain, revealing events will boost the country's overseas image.

Michael Hirst, chairman of the BVEP
Michael Hirst, chairman of the BVEP

VisitBritain’s three-year strategy was announced by culture secretary Maria Miller this week, outlining plans to attract 40 million overseas visitors per year to Britain, spending £31.5bn, by 2020.

The strategy aims to grow inbound tourism to Britain by looking at four key areas. This includes building on Britain’s improved international image, increasing engagement with the travel trade, broadening the product range on offer for inbound tourists and making it easier to get to Britain.

Michael Hirst, chairman of the BVEP, has called for more detail as to how the strategy can be successfully achieved. He said: "It is only right that business tourism features as part of VisitBritain’s marketing strategy. This is something we have pushed for since their withdrawal from the sector in 2011.

"However with no new resources and with no intention to create a dedicated team, it remains to be seen how this will be accomplished. The implementation of their plans will need to be carefully co-ordinated amongst the various stakeholders. There needs to be much more detail as to how these proposals will be undertaken to achieve the desired outcome of increased business visits and spend to Britain from overseas markets".

The 'Events are Great' initiative to help promote British events, secured through the efforts of the Britain for Events campaign and the BVEP, will also be reviewed as part of the strategy.

The culture secretary revealed a record 31 million international tourists came to the country and spent £18.6bn last year, as part of her announcement.

The new target for 2020 highlights a 29% growth in visits to help deliver an extra £8.7bn in foreign exchange earnings in real terms.

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