Domestic tourism receives £2m funding

British tourism is to receive a further £2 million additional funding from the government, Jeremy Hunt announced today.

The extra money will be used to push its ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ campaign and raise the country’s profile amidst the Jubilee and Olympic year. VisitEngland welcomed the announcement and said it would look to boost the number of short breaks through the trade.

“We are delighted that the Government has shown their belief and confidence in the British tourism industry as an economic generator, and in VisitEngland in harnessing that potential through the extension of the Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign,” said James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland. “The additional £2million, to be awarded by Government, will be used by VisitEngland to further stimulate the short break market working in conjunction with the travel trade.”

Meanwhile, ABTA warned that changes would need to be made if its marketing is to be effective in overseas markets.

“For the Government’s vision for tourism to be achieved, the obvious barriers to tourism such as high levels of aviation taxes, visa costs and bureaucracy, inadequate infrastructure and poor service at the borders must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” explained the association’s chief executive Mark Tanzer. “Today is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to the Government putting forward further concrete policies to ensure a more competitive UK product.”

The British Air Transport Association (BATA) reiterated its stance on limited airport capacity after Hunt urged for more connections into developing economies.

“It is all very well to call for new direct services to China, but with the highest taxes on flying in the world and a severe shortage of airport capacity in the south east of England, we need Government action rather than merely warm words and aspirations,” said Simon Buck, chief executive of BATA. “Spending more money on marketing Britain to the world is welcome, but that in itself won’t do anything to address the barriers of tax and airport capacity shortages that the UK faces.”

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