The British Tourist Authority has set out its priorities and how it will structure to deliver on these, following the funding settlement for tourism in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
The plans include how to distribute the new £40 million Discover England Fund and the increased funding for the UK government’s GREAT campaign.
The underlying principles are to ensure that both Britain and England activity is focused and aligned, redeploying resources and driving efficiencies to invest in front-line activities.
There are several drivers for the changes - there have been changes in markets and in the way consumers book their travel and consume their media, there is a clear change of focus for VisitEngland, and the government has asked the two organisations to be brought more closely together.
BTA chief executive Sally Balcombe confirmed that the organisation’s priorities were to market the nations and regions of Britain overseas to drive growth in international leisure and business tourism, as well as maintain distinct activities to develop and market England tourism with greater co-ordination across the industry.
Balcombe said: “With a good settlement and clear organisational focus we have an opportunity to deliver tourism growth across the nations of Britain and for the English regions.
“Of course there are challenges and tourism continues to be a fiercely competitive global industry.
“But we are confident that with our ethos of strong partnership working we can work together to deliver the best outcomes for both England and Britain.
“I look forward to starting this process with the regional engagement programme for the Discover England Fund which I will be leading in the coming weeks.”
The proposals include:
VisitBritain and VisitEngland have been very successful at building private sector investment to multiply the Government’s investment.
The proposals have been communicated to all British Tourist Authority staff across VisitEngland and VisitBritain this week, including internationally, with a 30-day internal global consultation period now underway.
The final organisational structure is set to be agreed during February and March this year.