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Event tourism gets government backing

Following its launch in the autumn, momentum continues to gather for this year’s Britain for Events campaign. Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media & Sport, Jeremy Hunt, have both officially endorsed the campaign. Speaking at the recent World Travel Market event, Mr Hunt revealed the government’s latest initiative, under which it is calling on the domestic tourism industry to give 20.12% discounts on hotels and holidays bought before the end of the Olympic Games.

Mr Hunt said the project would be backed by a £4 million marketing campaign that would include two months of television advertising from its launch in February. The campaign has already secured the backing of Hoseasons, Bourne Leisure, The Coach Tourism Council, Superbreak and The Eden Project, which will all offer 20.12% off rooms and holidays for people who book before the closing ceremony of the Paralympics on September 9 – although the actual period of travel can be outside this date. “What we want to do is make next year into a moment when we turn a corner for our domestic tourism industry which has often been a poor relation,” said Jeremy Hunt. “I want to turn it into something really aspirational.”

Commented Michael Hirst, Chair of the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) and Campaign Co-ordinator for Britain for Events, “Event tourism is now firmly on the government agenda. It is fitting that these developments have all taken place in the lead up to, and during one of the UK’s seminal tourism events and goes to demonstrate the growing role both business and leisure events play in UK tourism.”

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