Supporting English tourism development and growth

Providing advice for English tourism businesses
Opening England for all
Celebrating the very best in English tourism

We deliver advice, support and insight to help English tourism businesses develop and grow. 2016/17 saw us strengthen partnerships, provide new and updated resources for operators and bring the industry together to celebrate excellence.

Providing advice for English tourism businesses

VisitEngland supports tourism operators nationwide, enabling them to extend their reach, welcome more visitors and stay up to date with the latest trends and visitor preferences.

Pink Book 2017Our online Business Advice Hub delivers guidance on a range of tourism issues for micro, small and medium-sized operators (SMEs). We provide updates on legislative compliance and insights into digital marketing strategy and techniques. The hub received more than 106,000 unique page views from October 2016 – August 2017: helping businesses across England remain competitive and reach more customers.

Now in its ninth edition, our Pink Book details all the legislation that accommodation providers need to know. Fully updated for 2017, it contains a range of new topics, from workplace pensions to dispute resolution regulations, and is now available to purchase online for the first time.

VisitEngland also partnered with Barclays to deliver a pilot Digital Business Masterclass for tourism SMEs, helping improve their online presence. 33 individual tourism businesses and organisations attended. Following positive feedback, we will host further workshops across England during autumn 2017.




Making England open to everyone

Top 10 tips for accessibility infographicIn 2016/17 we continued with our internationally-recognised work to help tourism businesses and destinations cater for visitors with accessibility requirements - a market worth £12bn.

Our ‘Access for All’ project (co-funded by the European Commission), which increases awareness of England’s accessible tourism products generated over £32m in incremental spend, and won the ‘Best Project’ category at the inaugural Accessible Derbyshire Access Awards held at Chatsworth House in October 2016.

VisitEngland also continued its commitment to supporting and promoting accessible tourism venues. In partnership with VisitScotland, we developed a new digital platform to help businesses create and publish Accessibility Guides online. These are viewable by consumers, enabling them to make informed choices as to where to stay and visit.

We also sustained key partnerships to help raise standards. Working with the British Beer and Pub Association, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Action on Hearing Loss, we published new and updated guidance. We also worked with members of England’s Inclusive Tourism Action Group to create ‘Top 10 Tips’ for businesses and a co-ordinated social media campaign.

2017 Tourism Superstar finalists
Highlights from the 2017 VisitEngland Excellence Awards
Business Advice Hun screenshot
Providing advice to small businesses through our business advice hub

Celebrating the very best in English tourism

VE Awards 17 collageVisitors want outstanding experiences. By championing tourism excellence across England, we helped to raise standards and highlight the very best that English tourism has to offer.

The second annual ROSE awards recognised 100 accommodation providers (including hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, holiday parks and self-catering cottages) for their exceptional service and hospitality.

VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2017 showcased the very best in English tourism for the twenty-eighth year running. Nearly 600 applications were received – a record number – as 67 finalists competed for 22 awards. A special, Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award honoured The Premier League for attracting 800,000 match-going visitors who spent £684m in 2014.

We also joined with The Daily Mirror to crown Duane Dibartolomeo, a Miami native turned Norwich chip shop owner, as Tourism Superstar of 2017. Tourism Superstar earned 137 features in trade, national and broadcast media, while MPs and celebrities helped our #VEAwards17 Twitter hashtag generate 11 million impressions.


Keeping standards high

The VisitEngland quality schemes ensure excellence whilst adding value for participants and visitors. A new licence to operate our quality assessment schemes was awarded to the AA in April 2017.

With more than 100 years’ experience inspecting and rating accommodation across the UK, the AA shares our commitment to maintaining common standards and supporting operators. Together, we can help businesses stay up to date with changing consumer demands and expectations and offer better experiences.

More than 11,000 tourism businesses and 11,000 self-catering properties are now covered by VisitEngland Quality Assessment Schemes.


“VisitEngland is leading the way with great advice for tourism businesses seeking to boost accessibility and revenue” Martin Heng, Lonely Planet, Australia