EnjoyEngland £12m drive to focus online

LONDON - VisitBritain is to invest £12m, primarily online, in promoting EnjoyEngland as part of a three-year strategy to build visitor numbers ahead of the Olympic Games in 2012.

Spearheading the activity will be next year's relaunch of the EnjoyEngland.com website, which the body aims to build into a marketing platform to compete with the big industry operators.

EnjoyEngland.com will offer information from local tourist offices and VisitBritain to become a one-stop shop for consumers and businesses seeking to book accommodation and tickets.

A range of media partnerships and advertising will support the relaunch. VisitBritain is also seeking brand partners for co-promotions.

Hugh Taylor, chairman of VisitBritain's England Marketing Advisory Board, said the site would act as a marketing platform for SME tour operators and tourism agencies.

"Ideally, this site will give a bed and breakfast in Cornwall the same reach as a big player such as Hilton," he said.

VisitBritain also views the site as a vital way of promoting the country to poten-tial visitors to the London Olympic Games in 2012. It is lobbying the government to increase its £35m promotional budget to ensure the Games benefits the UK tourism industry.

The government has said the 2012 Olympics could boost the country's tourism revenue by 25%, and has challenged industry and national agencies to plan how to take advantage of it.

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