VisitEngland has been working to secure funding from the Regional Growth Fund on behalf of destinations throughout the country. Their bid was for £20m to fund a three year project called Growing Tourism Locally.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive commented: “This is a huge boost for VisitEngland as the country’s national tourist board, working in partnership to facilitate growth at a local level, and an acknowledgement of the value of our industry to England’s economy. With this additional money we can mount a serious campaign to stimulate domestic tourism that has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,500 full time jobs in areas across the country suffering economic challenges.”
Mr Berresford continued: “Our strategy is to work with tourism partners and the private sector at a national and local level. Our partners will manage elements of the campaign pertaining directly to their local destination, whilst VisitEngland will manage the national strategy which will support this local activity. We will work closely with Government on the next stage of the process which determines the terms and conditions of the funding.”
The national marketing campaign will see VisitEngland working closely with private sector partners to match fund the grant received from the RGF.
The campaign will capitalise on next year’s once-in-a-generation events like London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Diamond Jubilee, the Cultural Olympiad, and the Torch Relay that will act as a catalyst to showcase the whole of the country.
The funding applied for will be allocated to a number of destination partners in England that will work closely with VisitEngland to design and implement local campaigns. Some of those partners have already been confirmed and include Marketing Birmingham. Tim Manson, Operations & Policy Director for Marketing Birmingham, said:
“We are delighted to be a key destination partner for this project, which will provide an important lift for the tourism sector in this country. Through our marketing strategy, Visit Birmingham, the ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ campaign will help us to position the city and surrounding area as a key destination for visitors looking to holiday in England.
In addition, it will also help us to create more jobs within the region, which is vital for our economic growth. We will be working closely with VisitEngland not only on our local marketing campaigns, but also on how we can capitalise on key national events to the benefit of Birmingham and surrounding area.”
The list of local partners confirmed to date:
• Bath Tourism Plus
• Marketing Birmingham
• Destination Bristol
• Visit Cornwall
• Cumbria Tourism
• Visit Kent
• Marketing Manchester
• The Mersey Partnership
• Newcastle Gateshead initiative
• Northumberland Tourism
• Experience Nottinghamshire
• Visit Peak District and Derbyshire
• Visit York
In addition to targeted activity in these areas there will be a series of thematic campaigns focusing on countryside, heritage, coastal and business tourism.
Tourism Minister John Penrose added “England is a brilliant place to take a holiday at any time, with something for everyone but in 2012 we’ll be hosting the greatest show on earth as well. The VisitEngland campaign will help ensure that everyone makes the most of it.”
Article sources: VisitEngland, DCMS, IncentiveTravel and MarketingBirmingham