A new government priority—to produce "the best marketing plan that any country has ever had" around 2012—was set out today by UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt in his first key-note speech on tourism policy.
Hunt today pledged to:
* Create a new fund with the aim of generating £1 billion worth of public relations and marketing activity in priority markets in the years around 2012
* Harness the full potential of 2012 to create a permanent tourism legacy for the whole country, creating a sustained and sustainable increase in the number of tourists
* Set the industry a new goal to increase the domestic tourism spend by UK residents to 50 percent of the total
* Review the web of "quangos" (quasi non-governmental organisations) that affect tourism, aiming to simplify and focus support for the tourism industry, which is worth around £90 billion to the economy
Hunt spoke at Weymouth, the first 2012 Olympics venue to be completed. "Making sure we have a lasting tourism legacy from hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is one of the most pressing issues for the industry, and a top priority for government, too," he said. "I want to do all I can to help deliver an increase in visitors to Britain in the years that follow. But as well as encouraging more people from overseas to visit our shores, I also want to make sure we do all we can to get British holidaymakers to stay in the UK. So I’m challenging the whole tourism sector to increase the proportion of domestic tourism spend by UK residents to 50 percent"
Hunt stressed that the UK would learn the lessons from other global events in the past such as the Olympics in Barcelona and Sydney, and Germany’s hosting of the World Cup. “My priority is to make sure that London 2012 gets it right; that we draw on all these lessons to produce the best tourism marketing plan that any country has ever had.”
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will work with private sector partners both to build up this fund and work out the most cost effective way to spend it. Detailed plans of how this fund will work will be published by the end of September.