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 a key role to play. in 2017/18 we secured £13m in cash and marketing in-kind support, through our partnership activity. This included: 

  • addressing regional and seasonal spread with key European partners easyJet, Expedia and P&O, along with airports and DMOs such as Bristol Airport, Newcastle Airport, and Visit Wales
  • partnership with C-Trip in China which has 60% of the market, to promote travel both to and through the country
  • a tripartite with British Airways and America Airlines targeting millennials
  • a partnership with Manchester regional gateway to support new Virgin Atlantic routes from Boston and San Francisco
  • a partnership with Birmingham and surrounding regions to promote England's heartland
  • a three-year partnrships with Etihad in APMEA to build inbound tourism from the Middle-East
  • a partnership with DEFRA, DIT to promote British food and drink in China and USA
  • six strategic partnerships with Destination Management Companies (Abbey Tours, JAC, Hotels & More, E-Voyage, AC Tours and Angela Shanley) to support Discover England Fund projects.

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.