VIDEO: Tourism minister and VisitEngland chief tackle domestic visitor 'dip'

James Beresford: chief executive, VisitEngland
James Beresford: chief executive, VisitEngland

VisitEngland chief executive James Beresford and minister for tourism and heritage John Penrose are turning to the domestic market to avoid the downturn in UK tourism caused by the Olympic Games.

Speaking to Marketing at the launch of VisitEngland’s £5m marketing campaign yesterday (7 March), Beresford said this year's torch relay, cultural Olympiad and Diamond Jubilee, as well as the London 2012 Games, will provide multiple opportunities to showcase the UK.

However, he acknowledged that "traditionally" host nations tend to see a "dip" in domestic tourism.

Beresford said: "It's a real challenge for us to protect our market [and] to encourage people to holiday at home. That's why we’ve done this campaign."

Tourism minister John Penrose said the campaign is part of a four-year strategy to cover the "run up to, during, and crucially after the 2012 festivities".

He said: "If you look at what's happened to other Olympic or world cup host cities in the past there has been, sometimes, a problem with displacement and some of them have seen a dip in tourism.

"What we need to do is to try and fight against that, [and] try to market Britain to Brits."

The TV ad for VisitEngland, featuring Stephen Fry, Rupert Grint, Michelle Dockery and Julie Walters, breaks tonight during Emmerdale.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @LoullaMae_ES

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