Britain tourism strategy

In April 2013 the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport launched VisitBritain’s long term tourism growth strategy for Britain. 

Cover of Delivering a Golden Legacy: a growth strategy for inbound tourism 2012-2020 featuring a red briefcase with Union Jack on it on a white backgroundThis ambitious strategy - Delivering a Golden Legacy: a growth strategy for inbound tourism 2012-2020 (PDF, 4.53MB) - sets out what Britain can do to ensure that international tourism delivers the largest economic benefit possible and how marketing and policy objectives can be aligned. It aims to attract 40 million international visitors a year, spending £31.5 billion, by 2020.

We also conducted a major piece of work, producing assessments of Britain’s competitive position in each of our 21 priority markets − identifying opportunities for and barriers to growth.

This work identified four key elements which together are drivers of future success:

  • Build on Britain’s image
  • Increase distribution through the travel trade
  • Broaden the product offering and make it easier to visit Britain by improving Britain’s visa process
  • Increasing aviation capacity to promote new air routes, particularly from emerging markets

None of this is within the gift of any single organisation. This is a strategy for Britain – with the travel industry, government departments and agencies united behind a clear long-term ambition for growth.

Our aim is to work in partnership, so that organisations across the public and private sectors can align to deliver tourism’s full economic growth potential over the remainder of this decade.

The private sector has the key role to play. The tourism industry is typically described as fragmented − there are 200,000 small and medium-sized tourism businesses and a host of sectorial interests in tourism. Yet the private sector already provides significant support to the marketing of Britain overseas − investing £12.7 million in VisitBritain’s four-year marketing programme from April 2015-March 2016.

The GREAT Britain campaign has also seen us working much more strategically with other public diplomacy partners (including the FCO, Department for International Trade and British Council). In addition, the campaign has shown the role that non-tourism businesses can play in shaping Britain’s image around the world – and the impact that this has on tourism and investment decisions.

This strategy sets out an ambitious goal for Britain. It will require an even greater level of cooperation across Government, the UK and overseas tourism industries and the national tourist boards in order to ensure that Britain is fit to compete and succeed in the global race for tourism.