VisitBritain/VisitEngland welcome UK Government Tourism Action Plan

Today sees the publication of the Government’s Tourism Action Plan and we welcome the Government’s plans to ensure the continued success of the tourism industry which last year generated £22.1 billion in spending from inbound tourism to the UK and £19.6 billion from domestic tourism spend in England, both record results. 

The Government’s announcement comes as VisitEngland is completing a hugely successful first phase of the £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund attracted an exceptional number of high quality bids, far outweighing the allocated funding available for year one. Following a rigorous application process, the first of the successful applicants to receive year one funding have been announced and we will now be working closely with them to build world-class ‘bookable’ tourism products that showcase the best of England to international and domestic visitors.

In round two the fund is open for large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 and that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers. In light of the success of year one, a small pot is also available for new one year projects and pilots and continuation funding for existing round one projects that can demonstrate early learnings. Details on how and when to apply are available on our website

Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and the Tourism Action Plan demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving our competitive tourism offer which includes making it easier for visitors to explore the UK using our extensive transport network. We are running a global competition with the Rail Delivery Group to give 5 pairs of winners the chance to test out some of our best rail itineraries and show just how easy it is to explore all the incredible experiences and attractions on offer across the UK. 

Other initiatives and measures outlined in the plan include: 

  • Addressing the industry’s seasonal nature through a flexible apprenticeship scheme that allows training to be completed over 16-18 months rather than 12, with breaks included. 
  • Cutting red tape with sensible regulation by changing licensing to allow B&Bs to offer a welcome drink, and modifying vehicle licensing will allow B&B owners to pick up visitors from train stations. 

We continue to position the UK as a must-go now holiday destination through our domestic and global #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ campaigns to promote the amazing experiences that can only be had here, converting aspirations to visit into bookings and ensuring that the economic benefits of tourism are spread across all our nations and regions. 

We look forward to continuing to work with you to grow our industry in the months ahead.