The G7 countries and those invited as guests include some of the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets, giving the national tourism agency a valuable chance to promote ‘destination Britain.’
VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said: “The G7 Summit and the accompanying international media exposure gives us a fantastic opportunity to highlight our outstanding tourism offer and the amazing experiences that visitors - including world-leaders - can only have in Britain.With the ambition to be the ‘world’s meeting place’ the Summit also demonstrates Britain’s ability to host business events of the highest calibre.
“The G7 countries are incredibly important inbound visitor markets and the Summit is a valuable chance to promote our culture and heritage, our fabulous tourism products and new experiences that are unique to Britain, and ready and waiting for when visitors can return.
“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and our international teams are working closely with travel trade and partners in market to keep Britain front-of-mind to drive future trips, as well as highlighting messages of reassurance and welcome, as part of the G7 Summit and beyond.
“As restrictions are eased we will be competing hard for international visitors who contribute billions to our economy.”
The G7 Summit comes as VisitBritain’s latest forecasts show a slow recovery for inbound tourism with overseas visitor spending this year in the UK of £6.2 billion, less than a quarter of the £28.4 billion in 2019.
Last year alone saw a more than £24 billion loss to the UK economy in overseas visitor spending.
VisitBritain has been tracking consumer sentiment throughout the pandemic with its latest research indicating strong pent-up demand for international travel in the next 12 months, and Britain high on the wish list of potential visitors.
Almost three quarters, 73%, of those surveyed across 20 countries said they were likely to take an international leisure trip in the next 12 months, and 42% said they definitely would. Sixty-one per cent of those who were keen to travel had not yet booked or decided where to go, giving VisitBritain an opportunity to influence decision-making, destination-choice and bookings.
Protocols on hygiene and safety are among the top assurances travellers said would boost their confidence in taking a trip abroad. VisitBritain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard alongside the World Travel & Tourism Council’s global ‘Safe Travels’ stamp is reassuring visitors that UK tourism businesses, attractions and destinations have clear processes in place to welcome them back safely as travel restrictions can be lifted.
VisitBritain would also be using the Summit to promote major events next year which are set to be significant global tourism draws including The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Festival UK 2022 - to promote the UK's creativity and innovation to the world.
It also comes as VisitBritain sets out its priorities for the year ahead to aid the recovery of both domestic and international tourism, including rebuilding a more resilient, sustainable and accessible industry with its efforts also focused on ensuring tourism is delivering on the UK Government’s commitments on climate change.
Tourism is a critical industry for the UK, usually worth £127 billion a year to the economy and VisitBritain continues to work with the UK Government, as it sets out its recovery plan and ambitions for tourism, and across the industry to cement the recovery and the future of one of the country’s greatest industries.