TOURISM minister Dr Kim Howells has launched VisitBritain, the
merged office of the British Tourism Authority and the English Tourism Council.
The new office, unveiled yesterday, will market England
domestically and Britain to the rest of the world. Sir Micheal Lickiss, former
chairman of the Southwest Regional Development Authority takes over from
current BTA chairman David Quarmby.
Although VisitBritain gives England a marketing budget for
the first time in two years, Howells indicated that it is unlikely to receive a
cash boost similar to last year’s £20 million.
“The question is always ‘how much more money can we spend?’
not ‘how can it be used better?’” he said.
“Micheal has a great track record of making sure the budget
is handled more effectively. This is all about getting a bigger bang for our
VisitBritain’s first initiative will be an Easter campaign
for England. It will be followed by a European campaign in the Autumn dedicated
to British cities. 2003 will also see marketing activity four newly identified
markets: China, Russia, Poland and Korea.