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VisitBritain to launch new campaign and forecasts growth

VisitBritain is set to launch a three-year global campaign in 2010 along three key themes: Classic, Dynamic and Luxury, encompassing traditional Britishness, youth and high revenue markets.

The new campaigns are set to break as VisitBritain forecasts a return to growth for British tourism in 2010.

Recent figures for 2009 suggest that the tourism industry has reached a turning point, marking it as an economic driver to lift Britain out of recession as we enter 2010, and beyond.

The tourism body for the UK is also launching a new VisitBritain iPhone app as part of VisitBritain’s film tourism work around the new Sherlock Holmes film, allowing users to locate and then visit locations from their favourite British films. The theme of film tourism will be continued around the release of the new Robin Hood film.

During the first 10 months of 2009, 300,000 more inbound holiday visitors chose the UK as a holiday destination. In the three months to October, leisure and business inbound visitors spent £5bn while in the UK, that's 3% more than during the same period of 2008, as visitors took advantage of the great value for money that Britain offered.

An improving economic situation and favourable exchange rate has resulted in the number of visitors to the UK from North America increasing at an annual rate of 11% in the three months to October, a very encouraging trend for the new year.

Looking ahead to 2010 we forecast a slight rise of 0.8% in the volume of inbound tourism to 30.4million, with inbound visitor spending rising to £17.1 billion, an increase of nearly 4% on 2009. If sterling remains weak we may see a steeper increase in visitor spending than expected.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive, VisitBritain said: “Over recent years tourism has been the fastest growing industry in the world. In the UK, it is the fifth largest industry and third largest export earner.

“Our forecasts suggest that whilst, 2010 will not see record numbers of inbound visitors or visitor spend, the prolonged weakness in the value of sterling will result in a stronger performance, particularly in visitor spend.

“These figures from the International Passenger Survey, and VisitBritain’s forecasts, suggest that Britain’s tourism is now heading back in the right direction and whilst conditions will still be tough, we believe that the exchange rate will make Britain attractive and offer exceptional value for the new year.”

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