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VisitEngland’s new responsibility for tourism product development

The Government has recently published its Triennial Review of VisitBritain and VisitEngland, which recommends a number of exciting responsibilities for VisitEngland and opportunities for our industry.

Triennial Reviews are completed every three years by the Cabinet Office for all non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). The Review is designed to assess whether an NDPB is still needed and to make recommendations as to how it might better deliver Government policy objectives.

VisitEngland has come through its Review well, with a strong endorsement of its track record and ability to deliver tangible results. The success of our work in creating economic growth and jobs for tourism was strongly recognised by the Review team. Many of those who contributed to the review process spoke positively about VisitEngland’s commitment to engagement and partnership working and we were very pleased to hear this endorsement.

In recognition of our successful track record, the Review has handed VisitEngland some exciting responsibilities which will change the way we work and deliver significant benefits to English tourism.

The key recommendations for VisitEngland and our priorities from the Review are as follows:

- VisitEngland will separate from VisitBritain and be an independent executive NDPB

- We will focus mainly on supporting the development of high quality tourism experiences and their marketing
in England through the management of a product development Challenge Fund

- The experiences created by the Fund will be marketed internationally by VisitBritain and domestically by VisitEngland

- We will continue to provide insights, analysis, expertise and links to the wider tourism sector; develop commercial partnerships to support the Challenge Fund and continue to provide advice to Government on English tourism matters

- We will hand over the tactical delivery of international marketing of England to VisitBritain, but still play an important coordination role with our stakeholders who have international aspirations

- VisitBritain will have clear targets for regional tourism beyond London

- We will work very closely with VisitBritain to ensure that where England is the most appropriate brand to be used overseas, it is used to deliver greater visitor numbers and greater economic growth for England

The Triennial is good news for VisitEngland and for English tourism. England must remain competitive with other countries for overseas visitors and the large number of Brits taking day and overnight trips at home rather than going abroad. England has amazing tourism assets but they must be made available and presented in a way that meets people’s aspirations, and to a standard that is comparable with other leading overseas tourism markets, to make sure they choose our country over others.

The recommended Challenge Fund will help deliver this - we hope it will be instrumental in securing the next generation of world class leisure and business tourism offerings in this country. The final details of how the Fund will work still need to be hammered out and we will be working with industry to scope out the dynamics during the year.

Marketing will still be important to us and we will continue domestic activity through Holidays at Home are GREAT and as part of the Challenge Fund.

It is great news that the Triennial Review has recognised the value of VisitEngland and its role in supporting English tourism.

James Berresford
Chief Executive, VisitEngland


Last updated September 2015