Update on Spending Review Outcomes for VisitBritain and VisitEngland
The financial settlement outlined in the Spending Review, with core budgets unchanged, an additional £40 million for the Discover England Fund and an uplift in the GREAT monies was extremely positive, and a real endorsement of the value of the whole tourism sector. The settlement also clarifies a number of new priorities that both VisitEngland and VisitBritain will need to deliver on, within the context of the British Tourist Authority. We are currently working through the implications of this and considering the best way forward to achieve these goals.
James Berresford has taken the decision to leave VisitEngland in the New Year, after six very successful years at the helm. James’s knowledge, engagement and passion for the England tourism sector have enabled VisitEngland to deliver a wide range of significant outcomes over this period. These have included securing the RGF fund for England, delivering the Holidays at Home campaigns and most recently leading the tourism activity around the Rugby World Cup. I would like to thank him on behalf of the whole English tourism industry for his work and commitment.
Whilst we continue to develop our thinking, I wanted to confirm that we have already set out that funding for VisitEngland will be ring-fenced for England. There will continue to be a separate VisitEngland brand, with staff dedicated to the delivery of England activity and England Action Plan, as well as liaison with English destinations.
Concurrently, for VisitBritain, in line with our remit to market the whole of Britain overseas, we are building our strategy to generate additional visits and spend across the nations and regions of Britain. Funding for VisitBritain will also be ring-fenced and there will also be a dedicated VisitBritain brand supported by dedicated staff, including those across the international network.
I look forward to working with the whole industry as we develop our plans and we are building an engagement process throughout January. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the festive season and a prosperous New Year.