We are the national tourism agency, a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The tourism industry has been one of the first and hardest hit sectors by COVID-19. As Britain’s seventh largest export industry, before the pandemic tourism was worth £127 billion to Britain’s economy. , Inbound tourism’s economic contribution was valued at £26.2 billion.
Our role is to drive immediate tourism recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by building back visitor spend as quickly as possible and supporting the industry.
Through the crisis we have been focusing on five areas:
- Government advisory
- Industry support and communication
- Recovery preparation
- Staff welfare
- Business continuity and compliance
We know that inbound tourism is an extremely competitive global industry and we are going to need to be out there competing for visitors and ready to sell Britain. There is a need to boost consumer confidence both domestically and internationally and to support our industry, ready to welcome back visitors as soon as the time is right.
Our focus and corporate priorities for 2021/22
Our focus for VisitBritain will be on the demand-side, re-stimulating international demand with a tight focus on converting visitors who are most likely to visit in 2021/22.
For VisitEngland it will be on both the supply and the demand-side, supporting England’s tourism industry to recover and re-stimulating domestic demand.
Areas of focus that are common to both VisitBritain and VisitEngland include:
- The need to bid for and win events for England and for Britain. Business events have been particularly hard hit. Large events having been fully on pause since March 2020, so it is crucial we support the sector and drive demand.
- We have a statutory duty to advise on tourism. We will continue to be the authority on tourism, providing expert advice to industry and to government
Our corporate priorities for 2021/22
- Re-stimulate domestic and international demand to drive immediate visitor spend as quickly as possible
- Support the English tourism industry so that SMEs and DMOs/CVBs are ready to welcome back visitors
- Be the authority on tourism, advising industry and government so they can make informed decisions
- Deliver transformation so that we can be a more effective organisation with the right culture, skills, capabilities, tools and systems and can deliver a better experience for our staff and customers.
In 2020/21 our core Grant-in-Aid from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is £19.9 million for VisitBritain and £7.1 million for VisitEngland.
£5.5 million for the Discover England Fund has been carried forward from 2019/20 to 2020/21 and as a trusted partner in the GREAT campaign we have been allocated £22.2 million GREAT funding for 2020/2021.
* VisitBritain/VisitEngland are legally constituted as the British Tourist Authority (BTA) under the Development of Tourism Act 1969.