Aims and objectives
The Fund aims to enable eligible DMCs and inbound tour operators to develop and market tourism to and around Britain from international visitors. This is intended to promote the regional spread of tourist visits as well as the promotion of visits outside traditional seasonal peaks, enabling then an extension of the holiday season
In summary, VisitBritain is seeking to support DMCs and inbound tour operators who will be able to:
- Push Britain itineraries with a focus on the regional spread of visitors and extending the holiday season, in line with source market demands.
- Ensure itineraries are included in the 2023 trade and consumer programmes of international tour operators in one of VisitBritain’s key markets:
- Europe: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Nordics
- Americas and Australasia: USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia
- APMEA: Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Gulf Co-operation Council
- Deliver marketing activity, involving third party media buy, to promote those Britain itineraries to trade and consumers in one of VisitBritain’s key markets (as above).
- Evidence value add through marketing via its own channels and, where applicable, those of international tour operators.
- Provide post-campaign evaluation results showing the actual value (monetary GBP equivalent) and volume (number) of consumer bookings generated bringing incremental visitors to Britain in 2023 in addition to those the DMC or inbound tour operator had already secured.
With a budget allocation of £450,000, the Fund is a competitive grant scheme will operate from early February to end of June 2023. Applications are invited for potential grant awards in the region of but not exceeding £40,000.
Supported types of marketing activity
The Fund will support sales and marketing activities delivered through an in-market tour operator and include activities, such as:
- Media buy with a third-party media owner
- Creative content development undertaken by a third party (limited no more than 10% of the grant award)
- Other third-party marketing costs may be considered at the discretion of VisitBritain (i.e. third-party bespoke email development or targeted data purchase) but approval must be obtained prior to entering into spending commitments with the third party.
- PR or social media agency fees (limited to no more than 15% of the grant award).
- B2B2C communication activities through third party tour operators and travel agencies.
- Production of new content, either digital or in print format, within tour operators’ programmes.
- Attendance at international trade shows or undertaking sales calls. Up to 10% of the grant can be put towards this.
To apply, DMCs and inbound tour operators must meet the eligibility criteria. The full list of criteria is given in the application guidance notes but includes:
- Must be a Britain-based DMC or Inbound Tour Operator. Applicants must have a permanent place of business in Great Britain (i.e. registered office address with Companies House). Please note that the home offices of individual employees would not be considered a valid business address in Britain.
- The eligible applicant must operate pan-Britain product itineraries in at least two (2) of the ‘home’ nations and must also demonstrate recent experience (namely, in 2017-19 and 2022) of working in the chosen international markets, as evidenced by previous itineraries and sales to Britain, and previous marketing plans.
- Applicants must demonstrate that they can use the grant to secure the support of an in-market tour operator whose role it will be to promote actively in their outbound programmes Britain consumer leisure itineraries.
- Itineraries involving MICE and business tourism activities will not be supported.
- Applicant must have a demonstrable track record of working with the proposed partner tour operator(s). Once your application has been approved, you will be asked to provide (a) letter(s) of commitment from the partner tour operator(s) to the proposed marketing activity, along with confirmation of the Britain-related value (GBP equivalent) of sales that the applicant has done with the partner tour operator before the COVID-19 pandemic in each of the financial years 2018 and 2019.
Who can apply?
The Fund is open to Britain-based DMCs and inbound tour operators. Applicants must have a permanent place of business in either England, Scotland or Wales (i.e. a registered office in either of these jurisdictions per Companies House).
For the sake of clarity, the following types of companies and organisations are not eligible for financial support and so cannot apply:
For the sake of clarity, the following types of companies and organisations are ineligible for financial support from this Fund and so cannot apply:
- Overseas-based Tour Operators
- Overseas-based Travel Agent Consortia
- Destination Management Organisations
- Tourism Business Improvement Districts (TBIDs)
- Online Travel Agents
- Sole traders
- Industry bodies
- Coach operators
- Membership organisations representing solely a sectional interest-group within the tourism and hospitality industries, such as hotelier associations and attraction groupings.
How to apply
Eligible applicants should complete an application form available to download (DOC, 93KB) and send it along with the supporting documentation to TourOperatorFund@visitbritain.org. Applications must be emailed to us and arrive no later than 17:00 on Thursday, 15 December 2022 in order to be considered for funding. Any applications received after this time will not be considered. Applications will not be assessed on a first come first served basis but rather against the eligibility and scoring assessment criteria.
Please note, all project stages must be delivered and completed by the final deadline. Activity must start before 31 March and completed by 30 June 2023.
Join our Q&A Webinar – Tuesday 29 November
We’re running a short webinar on Tuesday 29 November, 3pm, to explain some of the fund details outlined in the guidance document, and also offer the opportunity for you to ask any questions you have. Please register for our Q&A webinar on the new scheme if you would like to attend, or receive a video recording of the session.
Code of conduct for grant recipients
Grant making is an essential component in the tools available to VisitBritain to deliver our policy objectives. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to external organisations to assist us with the development of the British tourism industry, thereby supporting local economic development and helping UK tourism exports. This is why it is essential to ensure that grants are administered efficiently and effectively providing value for the UK tax-payer.
Prospective applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the ‘Code of Conduct for Recipients of Government General Grants’ (Cabinet Office, November 2018) which sets out publically the expectations placed on grant recipients, in terms of ethical and professional conduct.