A senior director at Visit Britain has raised doubts over the future of the award-winning “Great Britain” marketing campaign, the government’s ambitious push to attract overseas visitors that has been running since 2012.
Patricia Yates, Visit Britain’s director of strategy and communications, told the UKInbound Convention in Bristol she was “nervous” about the future of the campaign under the UK’s new Conservative government.
“We are hugely dependent on DCMS [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] funding,” she said. “The current prime minister has support for a global Britain concept, but I’m not sure where the money for the campaign is going to come from.
“Will it be seen as a legacy campaign and quietly dismantled?”
In an interview with TTG Media group editor Pippa Jacks, Yates said the effects of the coronavirus on visitor numbers to the UK in 2020 was an obvious concern, but there remained huge opportunities in other markets.
“China is the long-term future – but 70% of our visitors are from Europe, and we are seeing our strongest growth from the US,” she declared.
“As well as future growth we need to focus on our existing customers and how we can best serve them.”
Post-Brexit, she said the biggest worry was for the German market. “There is definitely a concern that people won’t be so welcome here after Brexit,” added Yates.
“We have a stand at ITB in Berlin in March, and we will be strongly telling a different story.”