As 2010 drew to a close, we were hit by news of funding cuts that would impact regional tourism agency Visit London; now, it seems that the punches landed by the government austerity programme are to be felt firmly by Visit Britain. The national tourism body has announced that it will be slashing around 70 jobs both in the UK and abroad, as a result of a massive 34 per cent blow to its budget.
But Visit Britain is keen to emphasize that it will stand to fight another day, arguing that the impact on UK tourism will be limited.
- First, although the agency is making cuts to its presence in other countries, the 24 offices that remain are located in cities that account for more than 80 per cent of UK tourist income.
- Second, Visit Britain contends that continuous improvements in areas such as IT and communications—with the help of the Internet and smart-phone technology—will allow it to make significant savings, while continuing to spread its message far and wide, encouraging people to visit the UK.
Given the number of exciting events spanning dates in the UK’s 2011–12 diary, we at Let’s Visit believe that Visit Britain’s promises will prove in perfect pitch. What with the Royal Wedding in April this year, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year—not to mention the hordes that will hurry to London when it hosts the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics—the UK won’t have to sing for its supper. Half of the hard work of Visit Britain has been done—and all that really remains is to finish that Union flag bunting!
In Kent, meanwhile, April will see Margate’s Turner Contemporary Gallery fling wide its doors—letting in both eagerly awaiting public and that stunning northern light by which Turner was so struck. Why not pencil it in—and see how Let’s Visit can help you to make a day of it? Our database is growing daily (at such a healthy rate that we probably ought to think about dieting), so you’re certain to find something to tickle your fancy—and to suit your wallet …
It is true that times are tight—but while British tourism may appear to have taken a blow, it’s far from out. With an abundance of dates to circle in our diaries already, we can’t wait to see what the coming couple of years have on offer!