The Tourism Minister Helen Grant announced the long-awaited results of the 'Triennial' Review of our National Tourism organisations last week. There's plenty of good news and mainly lots of clarification on roles.
The review concludes firmly that both Visit Britain and Visit England have important roles, they discharge them well and they should be retained. That's certainly good news for an industry that the ONS in December 2014 estimated direct Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2013 was £56 billion and that it had grown by 13.6% between 2008 and 2013 – faster than all but 4 comparator UK industries.
The main changes are that Visit England will formally separate from the old British Tourism Authority, giving it greater freedoms to do its work. It will focus more on leading the English tourism sector and will be given a 'challenge fund' to help it do this. Let's hope the Chancellor is imaginative and generous in filling the fund up. This will undoubtedly strengthen Visit England's very capable leadership of domestic tourism.
Visit England will, however, cease directly marketing overseas, leaving that to Visit Britain who will continue to be the main UK marketing agency. There will be closer agreement with Visit England who will have a say in marketing campaigns. This makes things clearer, and Visit England and Visit Britain will have to work hard to make sure they are not collectively eclipsed by the Visits in Scotland and Wales who have freedoms (but not really the reach) to market overseas.
Visit Britain will continue to market Britain under the GREAT campaign and will also be given some testing targets by DCMS to promote tourism to the regions of Britain. That focus has to be a good thing.
You can read the whole Triennial Review here http://bit.ly/1wyKtKZ