Visit Britain must target the East

The tourism minister responded to my question about how much of the new tourism marketing fund will be spent in East Anglia. I accept that we will indirectly benefit from increased tourist numbers to the United Kingdom resulting from the Olympics and other major events but we will miss much of the boost, unless there is marketing for East Anglia. If VisitBritain doesn’t actively seek input from the industry in our region the marketing campaign will be directed by the big players all based in London. The lack of response from VisitBritain doesn’t suggest anything else at the moment.

Parliamentary Written Questions – 3rd February 2011

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what proportion of the tourism marketing fund announced in August 2010 will be spent in East Anglia; [37118] (2) whether people working in the tourism industry in East Anglia will have input into the use of the tourism marketing fund announced in August 2010.

John Penrose (Tourism Minister): The fund, referred to by the Prime Minister in August 2010, will be used to support an overseas tourism marketing and public relations campaign to promote Britain, taking advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and other major events, such as Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee. Expenditure will therefore primarily take place abroad. Tourism businesses in all parts of the United Kingdom, including East Anglia, will benefit from the one million additional overseas visitors per year that we expect the campaign to attract. The campaign will be co-ordinated by VisitBritain in co-operation with private sector partners who have contributed to the fund. Any of those partners operating in East Anglia will have input into its content and, of course, concerned local members of Parliament can also make representations about their constituencies