70 jobs set to go as VisitBritain implements global cost cutting strategy

A reorganisation of VisitBritain will see nearly 70 jobs lost within the tourism organisation, as it implements a new global strategy.

The reorganisation will include the reduction in staff and budgets in support areas such as finance, IT, human resources and communications, as well as admin costs. The new strategy will include plans to use major events including the Royal Wedding, the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games to generate income for the British economy and create around 50,000 extra jobs.

The changes being made are expected to lead to an overall reduction of 25-30 percent of its staff – around 70 posts, with the consultation already underway and the final outcome expected by the end of April.

Changes within the organisation will take place from today (9 February) in order to address the campaign ambition, while also taking into account the 34 percent cut to VisitBritain’s budget, which was announced in October 2010.

These changes will also see a reduction in functions, activity and the number of markets which the organisation has presence within to ensure that maximum funds are allocated to marketing activity.

The organisation will also attempt to continue to offer a streamlined advisory role to advice the Government on tourism.

As a result of the cost cutting, the central marketing team at VisitBritain will focus on delivering the global marketing campaign through improved partnership marketing and account management with commercial partners, with digital and social media, PR, marketing and relationships with 2012 stakeholders highlighted as a priority.

VisitBritain will also continue the development of its online retail service as it looks to deliver a commercial dividend for organisations and suppliers.

In order to save budget, the number of overseas consumer, trade and media websites will also be cut from 35 to 21 marketplaces while also reducing its levels of business tourism activity, although it will provide a bid support service to attract international conferences and conventions, as well as major sporting events.

Meanwhile, the Britain and London Visitor Centre will move in 2012 following the expiry of its lease, with discussions taking place with ‘other agencies’ on the provision of tourism information in London.

VisitBritain will also continue to share offices with VisitEngland, and share HR, IT and finance services in order to save costs.

Sandie Dawe CEO commented: “This proposed new structure and focus reflects our priorities and is in line with our four-year funding settlement. Our goal is to maximise the tourism opportunities of hosting a raft of major iconic events over the next two years. We need to ensure that this clarity of focus is supported by the right structure and skills. I have every confidence in the professionalism and passion of my team to deliver on our ambitions and for our partners and the whole tourism industry.”

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