Britain as a visitor destination in global spotlight in run-up to G7 Summit and beyond

07 June 2021

Britain as a visitor destination will be in the global media spotlight with the G7 Summit in Cornwall fast approaching and VisitBritain is taking the opportunity to inspire future travel.

The G7 countries and those invited as guests include some of the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets, giving the national tourism agency a valuable chance to promote ‘destination Britain.’

VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: 

“The G7 Summit and the accompanying international media exposure gives us a fantastic opportunity to highlight our outstanding tourism offer and the amazing experiences that visitors - including world-leaders - can only have in Britain. With the ambition to be the ‘world’s meeting place’ the Summit also demonstrates Britain’s ability to host business events of the highest calibre.

“The G7 countries are incredibly important inbound visitor markets and the Summit is a valuable chance to promote our culture and heritage, our fabulous tourism products and new experiences that are unique to Britain, and ready and waiting for when visitors can return.

“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and our international teams are working closely with travel trade and partners in market to keep Britain front-of-mind to drive future trips, as well as highlighting messages of reassurance and welcome, as part of the G7 Summit and beyond.

As restrictions are eased we will be competing hard for international visitors who contribute billions to our economy.”

The G7 Summit comes as VisitBritain’s latest forecasts show a slow recovery for inbound tourism with overseas visitor spending this year in the UK of £6.2 billion, less than a quarter of the £28.4 billion in 2019.

Last year alone saw a more than £24 billion loss to the UK economy in overseas visitor spending.

VisitBritain has been tracking consumer sentiment throughout the pandemic with its latest research indicating strong pent-up demand for international travel in the next 12 months, and Britain high on the wish list of potential visitors.

Almost three quarters, 73%, of those surveyed across 20 countries said they were likely to take an international leisure trip in the next 12 months, and 42% said they definitely would. Sixty-one per cent of those who were keen to travel had not yet booked or decided where to go, giving VisitBritain an opportunity to influence decision-making, destination-choice and bookings.  

Protocols on hygiene and safety are among the top assurances travellers said would boost their confidence in taking a trip abroad. VisitBritain’s We’re Good to Go’ industry standard alongside the World Travel & Tourism Council’s global Safe Travels’ stamp is reassuring visitors that UK tourism businesses, attractions and destinations have clear processes in place to welcome them back safely as travel restrictions can be lifted.

VisitBritain would also be using the Summit to promote major events next year which are set to be significant global tourism draws including The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Festival UK 2022 - to promote the UK's creativity and innovation to the world.

It also comes as VisitBritain sets out its priorities for the year ahead to aid the recovery of both domestic and international tourism, including rebuilding a more resilient, sustainable and accessible industry with its efforts also focused on ensuring tourism is delivering on the UK Government’s commitments on climate change.

Tourism is a critical industry for the UK, usually worth £127 billion a year to the economy and VisitBritain continues to work with the UK Government, as it sets out its recovery plan and ambitions for tourism, and across the industry to cement the recovery and the future of one of the country’s greatest industries.


Notes to editors:

  • The G7 Summit is being held in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, from 11-13 June.
  • VisitBritain promotes the UK internationally as a visitor destination as part of the UK Government’s global GREAT Britain campaign.
  • Inbound tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, its third largest service export, worth more than £28 billion to the economy in 2019.
  • The G7 countries were worth a combined £9.4 billion in visitor spending to the UK economy in 2019 – a third (33%) of all spending; and accounted for 14.8 million inbound tourism visits to the UK in 2019 – more than a third (36%) of all visits that year.

What’s on in Britain in 2021 & 2022 - *correct at time of writing.

Celebrations, anniversaries, major events:


  • Coventry, the UK's official 2021 City of Culture has a great programme of art, theatre, dance and literature for 2021. The Turner Prize 2021 is also taking place in Coventry at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibition of the Turner Prize’s shortlisted artists will run from September to January 2022, with the winner announced on December 1 2021.

 2021: Gardens and the Great Outdoors:

  • Wales is celebrating its Year of Outdoors highlighting outdoor pursuits, sports and adventure, wellbeing and mindfulness – promoting the 870-mile Coastal Path (a continuous walking path around its entire coastline); its three national parks; 600 castles; its Outstanding Areas of Natural Beauty and Dark Sky Reserves.
  • Scotland continues its ‘Year of Coasts & Waters’ this year, highlighting its stunning shorelines, lochs and coastal traditions.
  • This year is set to see the completion of the full England Coast Path, the longest continuous coastal walking path in the world (around 2700 miles). Discover which areas of the National Trail are open on its website. England’s Coast has also dedicated 2021 to the ‘Year of the Coast’ – and expanded the programme across three years to 2023.
  • The RHS Garden Bridgewater, the largest gardening project in Europe, opened in May 2021, with a new spectacular 154-acre garden, transforming the historic grounds of Worsley New Hall in Salford into a beautiful green place for the local community and visitors to enjoy all year-round.
  • Chelsea Flower Show, London: For the first time in its 108 year history, the RHS is postponing RHS Chelsea Flower Show to the autumn instead of spring. The 2021 Show, which would have taken place in May has been moved to 21 to 26 September. The RHS, the show organisers, will still hold the world-famous event at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London.
  • England’s Creative Coast - a new cultural travel experience for 2021 featuring seven new site-specific artworks by leading contemporary artists and the world’s first-ever art digital GeoTour is connecting and celebrating the distinct, creative coastline across Kent, Essex and Sussex.

2021: Exhibitions, Festivals and Heritage:

  • Following expansion and restoration work, Nottingham Castle, along with the Ducal Palace and the sprawling cave system below, reopens in June after a £29.4 million investment, symbolising a renovation of almost 1,000 years of British history.
  • In Manchester city centre, a series of expansions at well-loved cultural venues will be completed throughout 2021 starting with a new Special Exhibition Gallery at the Science and Industry Museum  ‘Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security, which started in May and finishes in August. See Marketing Manchester’s website for more information on ’21 new things to look forward to in Greater Manchester in 2021 – and beyond.’
  • The new Archway Project in Bath is due to open in summer 2021, converting the former Victorian spa buildings close to the Roman Baths. The new renovations will create new learning spaces for groups and schools and a World Heritage Centre exploring the historic city.
  • The Imperial War Museum, London, opens its new Second World War and Holocaust galleries with a £30.5 million expansion.
  • The Illuminated River project, which transformed some of London’s iconic bridges with colourful lighting, was completed in April 2021. Displays of lights now appear across Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, the Golden Jubilee Footbridges, Westminster Bridge and Lambeth Bridge.
  • The Broadway hit, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, an opulent jukebox production based on the film starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, is set to arrive in London’s West End in autumn 2021.
  • Silk Mill, in Derby, said to be the site of the world’s first factory, is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2021. A new Museum of Making opened at the site in May in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrating the area’s rich history of innovation and featuring about 30,000 objects from Britain’s industrial past as well as hands-on experiences and immersive displays.
  • Rye Harbour Discovery Centre, Sussex. Enjoy one of the most biodiverse areas for wildlife in the UK with a visit to the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre opening in 2021. The new centre will transform the way visitors engage with the 110-acre reserve, which inhabits 4,200 plant and animal species including more than 200 rare or endangered birds and mammals.
  • Falmouth, Cornwall, will be hosting the start of the Tall Ships Race in August 2021. The event will see a fleet of tall ships from around the world arrive in the historic port of Falmouth in the days leading up to19 August as part of the Tall Ships Magellan-Elcano 500 Series 2021.


  • Looking ahead to 2022, Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games - The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (28 July to 8 August).
  • HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – (June 2022) The May Bank Holiday Weekend will include 2 extra days for a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (70th anniversary), with a packed showcase of events starting with “Trooping the Colour” and ending with the “Platinum Party at the Palace”.
  • Festival UK 2022: will run throughout 2022 to showcase the UK's creativity and innovation to the world.

More information: