Following Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg’s refusal to support a major UK tourism campaign, Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, issued a response.
The UK tourism campaign aims to welcome tourists from international markets such as India, China, Australia, Japan and Canada, to boost the visitor economy post-pandemic.
However, Rees-Mogg has refused to sign off on the Department for Culture’s £800,000 budget (which was agreed in the last spending review), despite giving the green light to £4m worth of VisitBritain campaigns.
This decision is expected to have a negative impact on small businesses and tourist attractions.
Rebuilding the visitor economy
Commenting on the news, a VisitBritain spokesperson said: “Destinations around the world are struggling to rebuild their visitor economies from the pandemic.”
According to The Guardian, international tourism is still 20% lower than in 2019 due to pandemic travel restrictions. International tourism also fell a further 40% in August due to flight cancellations.
“There is a huge pent-up demand for travel and people have many options of where to go. We want to make sure they choose Britain,” added the VisitBritain spokesperson.
The national tourism agency concluded: “More than £28 billion was spent by international visitors in the UK in 2019, with that money going into local economies and supporting jobs.
“We need to promote Britain in all of our key inbound markets so we can compete for visitor spending and support the more than 200,000 small businesses that depend on tourism across the country.”