Great Britain Moves Closer to Valued Gulf Travellers
VisitBritain APMEA Regional Office Relocates to ‘Heart of GCC’
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Gulf-based travellers will be better resourced as they plan holidays to the UK as VisitBritain announces that it is moving its Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa (APMEA) regional office from Singapore to Dubai, said tourism board officials.
Further conveying its commitment to better assist Gulf visitors get the most out of their UK experiences, the tourism board has launched its Golden Legacy Consultation initiative, which has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships between the UK and valuable feeder markets, such as the UAE.
“By relocating our regional ‘hub’, VisitBritain will be firmly at the heart of this area of continued tourism growth,” said Carol Maddison, UAE Manager, VisitBritain. “Britain is a major beneficiary of outbound travel from the Gulf region with residents of the six GCC states spending £881 million (AED 5.2 billion) in Britain during 2011, that’s around 5 per cent of all spending.”
VisitBritain has a clearly articulated strategy to build the value of tourism with a focus on markets which offer the best immediate return and best future prospects for tourism to Britain. The Gulf is a major hub for aviation and, from Dubai, the tourism board will be better placed to develop strategic relationships with major international airlines with a view to influencing route development into Britain.
Relocating the regional office to Dubai will also allow VisitBritain to keep a better watching brief on important growth markets in the region, whilst maintaining its current portfolio of activity across the APMEA region.
VisitBritain’s retail operation also stands to benefit from the move thanks to the opportunity for improved alignment with UKBA – the two already work closely with them in other parts of the world and the UAE is home to one of their largest operations.
The Golden Legacy Consultation is part of a growth strategy for tourism to Britain, with an ambition to reach 40 million visitors by 2020, a 3 per cent on year increase.
The consultation is an element of the Britain Tourism Strategy, which shows how aligning marketing and government policy can deliver jobs and growth, building an economic legacy on the successful hosting of the Olympic Games.
“This summer has shown what the British can do when we are united in a common cause,” said VisitBritain Chairman Christopher Rodrigues. “This country showed passion, professionalism, drive and energy to stage the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The UK already welcomes 31 million visitors from across the world, who spent £18 billion (AED 106.2 billion) a year here last year, making the industry the third-largest earner of foreign exchange. Tourism, a major part of the UK economy, contributes £115 billion (nearly AED 679 billion) to UK GDP, and provides employment for 2.6 million people – around 9 per cent on both measures.
VisitBritain’s Sumathi Ramanathan will be transferring to Dubai as Manager for the APMEA region later this year, taking on permanent responsibility for the management of the Middle East and India as well as Asia Pacific.
· VisitBritain is Britain's national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s visitor economy. A non-departmental public body, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we work in partnership with thousands of organisations in the UK and overseas ― the Government, the industry and our strategic partners in London, England, Scotland and Wales ― and seek to ensure that Britain is marketed appropriately around the world.
· Our priority is to deliver a four-year match funded global marketing programme, working with the private sector, which takes advantage of the unique opportunity of the Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games to showcase Britain and attract new visitors from the tourism growth markets of Asia and Latin America and to reinvigorate our appeal in core markets such as the USA, France and Germany. This campaign aims to attract four million extra visitors to Britain, who will spend an additional £2 billion over the four years.
· We also provide analysis and advice on the issues facing potential visitors, on Britain’s competitive position and the barriers to inbound tourism growth. This is in addition to providing research; market intelligence and analysis to inform the British tourism industry.
VisitBritainShop.com – buy before you fly
· The official shop of the British national tourist authority, VisitBritainShop.com has over 150 products on Britain including travel and transport, sightseeing tours and attraction tickets. A one-stop-shop enabling the planning and purchase of products before arrival, VisitBritainShop.com ensures customers spend their time in Britain enjoying it and not waiting in a queue.
· The VisitBritain shops are made up of 13 local-market websites giving customers the convenience of purchasing in their own currency and language. And with products and discounts exclusive to the international visitor and customer service support in 7 languages, planning a trip to Britain has never been easier.