VisitBritain has awarded a seven year contract to publish its consumer-facing titles to the tourism, heritage and leisure publishing organisation Heritage House Group (HHG).VisitBritain’s publishing activities have developed considerably over the past two years to take in general consumer leisure and tourism guides and gift books, as well as its long-standing series of accommodation guides. The majority of VisitBritain’s commercial publishing work has been undertaken in-house to date but will now move to HHG. The partnership with HHG heralds an exciting opportunity to significantly extend the reach of the VisitBritain brand and market share. The licence has been placed with the invaluable support of Bertoli Mitchell, the UK’s leading mergers and acquisitions agency working in the publishing field.
The licence will come into immediate effect and applies to all new titles published after this date. As well as giving the VisitBritain titles greater commercial reach, HHG will give the books access to completely new sales channels in the heritage market. This will supplement VisitBritain’s already strong traditional customer base and UK book trade presence. The contract does not apply to any of VisitBritain’s business-to-business services or publications which will continue to be produced in-house.
David Moncrieff, head of publishing at VisitBritain said: “The continued publication of inspirational consumer titles will support the on-going achievement of VisitBritain’s mission to promote the value of tourism. This inaugural contract with Heritage House Group means that the titles can expand their already extensive audience. In awarding the contract we were impressed with plans to develop the consumer titles further, as well as their years of experience in the heritage publishing market. I look forward to a productive relationship with HHG going forward.”
The titles published under HHG will continue to use VisitBritain branding and logos and the full range of titles offered to consumers will remain in place. The titles will also continue to be successfully sold via VisitBritain’s domestic and international online retail portals. A steering group will be established within VisitBritain for operational matters relating to the titles.
Kelvin Ladbrook, group director at Heritage House Group said: “Since formation of the new Heritage House Group in September last year we have made great strides to become the UK’s foremost professional publisher for the stately homes and tourism attractions market. Our acquisition of Hudson’s Historic Houses and Gardens placed us firmly in the consumer market and the alliance with VisitBritain will enable us to grow from the combined strengths of these two great brands.”
HHG currently publishes, in addition to the Hudson’s annual guide, around 300 guidebook titles covering the major heritage and tourist attractions of stately homes, zoos, theme parks, cathedrals, museums and safari parks. Additionally, HHG is one of the largest providers of bespoke souvenirs and gifts to the tourist attraction market.