Deliver research and insights to inform Government and industry

Tourism is an economic powerhouse for the UK. The country’s shop window to the world, and it’s a money-maker. Worth £127 billion to the UK economy, supporting 3.1 million jobs right across the country, we ensure the economic importance of tourism is understood, briefing politicians, Government departments and media. Our market expertise, research and insights inform Government and provide the industry with tools to help them grow and export. 

Supporting a Tourism Sector Deal

Tourism Sector DealIn January 2017, the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published an Industrial Strategy green paper. With this came the opportunity to re-position tourism as a whole, demonstrating how it can be leveraged as an industry of the future and compete at a global level with backing from the Government.

Over the past 12 months, active discussions have been taking place across Government to secure a Tourism Sector Deal as part of this strategy. Led by our Chairman, Steve Ridgway the bid, agreed by the sector, has been warmly encouraged by both the Business Secretary and the Culture Secretary.

“The tourism and hospitality sectors are very important. They feature in the Industrial Strategy as two areas where it is particularly important to work together with firms big and small, as we are doing, to establish training institutions and spread technology so that we can raise their performance to compare with the strongest performance elsewhere in the economy.”

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

This Deal would be a significant victory for the Tourism Sector helping to deliver a long-term plan for growth, skills and productivity. We are now driving the case forward through a series of meetings with the Business Secretary, Ministers and senior officials.

Tourism Sector Deal priorities:

  • A 10-year tourism and hospitality skills campaign to boost recruitment, skills and long-term careers providing the industry with the workforce it needs
  • Boosting productivity by extending the tourism season year-round and increasing global market share in the business visits and events sector
  • Improve connections to increase inbound visits from more markets by 2030 by making it easier for overseas and domestic visitors to not only travel to the UK but explore more of it
  • Creating ‘tourism zones’ to build quality tourism products that meet visitors needs and expectations, extending the tourism season and fixing localised transport issues to improve the visitor experience.

Our industry website received over 800,000 visitors in 2017/18, providing expert insight and leading research to the industry

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Advising Government 

People to People dialogueOne of our main priorities for 2017/18 has been to continue to ensure that issues affecting Britain’s competitiveness in tourism are considered as part of the wider Government agenda. In pursuit of this, we’ve engaged with over 70 parliamentarians on topics related to policy and industry engagement.

Some examples included:

  • Support of the People-to-People dialogue between the British and Chinese Governments by organising a Tourism Bilateral
  • Co-hosting the China All-Party Parliamentary Group Chinese New Year Reception, with guest speakers including the International Trade Secretary, the Rt. Hon Dr Liam MP and the Chinese Ambassador
  • A tourism roundtable in the Wales Office with the Welsh Office Minister and Tourism Minister
  • Raising the profile of the industry during English Tourism Week by encouraging MPs to meet tourism businesses in their constituency
  • Supporting the Government’s overseas trade missions, including providing briefings for the Prime Minister’s visit to China
  • Supporting the UK Trade Minister’s visit to Azerbaijan and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government
  • Engaging with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to establish the soft power strategy, providing research and insights needed to inform the strategy.

Sharing market research, insights and best practice

France market snapshotVisitBritain regularly keeps the tourism industry informed about the latest inbound tourism statistics and insights across many topic areas through regular publications and its industry website. This included:

  • Publishing data on our website from the International Passenger Survey using an interactive data tool, allowing users to tailor the most relevant inbound tourism statistics
  • Releasing 19 market profiles during 2017-18, giving an in-depth view of key visitor source markets, as well as two-page infographics that deliver the most crucial facts
  • Publishing thematic reports providing in-depth analysis on subjects including: The Visitor Experience of tourists in the UK; How the World Views Britain; Regional Spread; Perceptions of Britain and its Competitors

VisitBritain has advised the Government on issues affecting welcome through the ‘Welcome to Britain’ group and tourism through Brexit. We ran the third and fourth wave of our post-referendum sentiment research in September 2017 and March 2018, focussing on themes including welcome, value for money and intent to visit.

VisitEngland delivered its statutory research obligations, specifically the Great British Tourism Survey and Day Visits Survey (monthly and annual reports), Annual Attractions survey (annual report) and England Occupancy survey (delivered twelve monthly reports).

We also delivered a bank of dedicated Discover England Fund (DEF) market research and insights.

In order to inform our marketing activity, we have undertaken research across key markets allowing us to identify clear segments and create detailed, customer journey maps. This provides us and our partners with an efficient framework with which to target key audiences.

Keeping the industry informed websiteAs well as being the Government’s expert on tourism, we provide vital leadership and research to keep the industry informed. We continue to position ourselves as the go-to expert on tourism matters with the media. Teamed with our dedicated industry website, we provide a one-stop shop for all official tourism statistics and market research for Britain and England.

To date this includes:

  • Research on domestic and inbound tourism, including customer-based insights and market profiles
  • Business advice and support
  • Opportunities for destinations and businesses to reach international and domestic markets
  • Support for English tourism businesses around visitor perceptions

This website has already been adopted by the industry, receiving over 800,000 visits in the past 12 months. In addition, our industry newsletter delivers the latest research and insights to 13,000 people and our social media presence gives us the opportunity to reach 14.9k followers on our VisitBritainBiz Twitter 14.4k on VisitEnglandBiz Twitter with an extra 20.4k on VisitBritain’s LinkedIn and 6k on VisitEngland’s LinkedIn.

Over the past year, our corporate press team has generated more than 7,400 pieces of press coverage in Britain and internationally across print, broadcast and online. Coverage has consistently promoted messages of value and welcome globally, the importance of tourism to the UK economy nationally and regionally, how our commercial partnerships and our marketing campaigns are driving the inspiration to visit and bookings, promoting product development through the Discover England Fund, and specific activity to give a voice for England such as the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, English Tourism Week, Business Support activities and more.

From October 2017 to end of August 2018, our corporate press team generated:

  • 2,260 pieces of print and broadcast coverage across the UK and overseas
  • 4,980 pieces of online coverage.
English Tourism Week 2018 constituency day
All Party Parliamentary China Group
Go to voice for tourism in the media