VisitEngland ready to meet domestic tourism challenge
James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive responded to a speech made today by the Secretary of State, Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP: “We are delighted that Jeremy Hunt, our new Secretary of State has identified the importance of boosting domestic tourism as a key objective for the new government. England is a remarkable country with a wonderful tourism offering for international and domestic visitors alike. However, I echo the Secretary of State when he says we cannot take our success for granted - we must not stand still in this global competitive market. The only way to further our success is to continually strive for excellence within our industry to meet and surpass visitor expectation and seize the opportunity offered by the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. VisitEngland recently launched England’s first tourism strategy for ten years which aims to maximise tourism’s contribution to the economy, employment and quality of life in England. England’s share of the UK visitor economy is worth £97billion and supports over 2 million jobs and over ten years we want to grow that by 5 per cent year on year. Our aim is to build on the foundations of a growing trend of British people holidaying at home and ultimately rise to the challenge set down by the Secretary of State to increase domestic spend to match spend by British holidaymakers abroad. Our new Strategic Framework for Tourism will help us to do this by driving up quality, improving England marketing both domestically and internationally, creating compelling destinations, maximising the Olympic opportunity and winning back the lucrative business market. We look forward to working with the Secretary of State and Tourism Minister John Penrose to make the sector more effective so the industry can reach its full potential and maintain England’s position as one of the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations.