VisitBritain has called upon hotel groups, industry associations, airlines and other hospitality businesses to offer their input on how best to help grow inbound tourism to the UK, after the Government set out its ambition to reach 40 million overseas visitors by 2020.
The consultation would form the basis of a new VisitBritain strategy designed to herald a "golden legacy" for the country, following on from the Olympics. A 3% year-on-year increase in inbound tourism would result in nine million additional visits by 2020, £13b additional visitor spend and £910m additional tax revenues a year.
Christopher Rodrigues (pictured), chairman of VisitBritain, said: "We have learnt in the run-up to the Olympics that you can get a much higher level of collaboration and partnership between the private sector and public sector than we have had - and it works."
Rodrigues said the strategy would allow for more joined-up thinking between government and the private sector over issues affecting inbound tourism, such as airport capacity and visas, and would help find partners to develop certain international markets. "Some people will be interested in one or two markets, or one or two sectors; others will be have a broader interest in multiple markets. What we are trying to do in this consultation is understand our partners' priorities and then develop with them a focused plan market by market," he said.
"We are looking for anyone's input with one caveat - we are looking for constructive solutions," he added.
Responses to shape the strategy can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The consultation will close on 9 November.
By Neil Gerrard
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