VisitBritain Faces Funding Cut

Britain's government has reduced the organization's funding for 2008 from 49.6 million pounds to 47.6 million pounds, an approximately $4 million cut from this year. Though the government increased funds for cultural institutions, such as museums, VisitBritain doesn't believe that alone will lure visitors. "The offer of free entry to museums and galleries will not in itself persuade most international tourists to come to London instead of Paris, New York or Hong Kong," said VisitBritain Chairman Christopher Rodrigues.

"This settlement also reduces the funding available to promote England at home and overseas," he continued. "We will need to become even more efficient in the marketing partnerships we have with the travel industry and the regions and nations to plug the gap this settlement has created." (JM)