VisitBritain shifts regional office to Dubai
Dubai, October 23, 2012
VisitBritain has announced that it is moving its Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa (Apmea) regional office from Singapore to Dubai.
The tourism board has launched its Golden Legacy Consultation initiative, which has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships between the UK and valuable feeder markets, such as the UAE.
“By relocating our regional ‘hub’, VisitBritain will be firmly at the heart of this area of continued tourism growth,” said Carol Maddison, UAE manager, VisitBritain. “Britain is a major beneficiary of outbound travel from the Gulf region with residents of the six GCC states spending Dh5.2 billion ($1.42 billion) in Britain during 2011, that’s around 5 per cent of all spending.”
VisitBritain has a clearly articulated strategy to build the value of tourism with a focus on markets which offers the best immediate return and best future prospects for tourism to Britain. The Gulf is a major hub for aviation and, from Dubai; the tourism board will be better placed to develop strategic relationships with major international airlines with a view to influencing route development into Britain.
Relocating the regional office to Dubai will also allow VisitBritain to keep a better watching brief on important growth markets in the region, whilst maintaining its current portfolio of activity across the Apmea region.
VisitBritain’s retail operation also stands to benefit from the move due to the opportunity for improved alignment with Ukba – the two already work closely with them in other parts of the world and the UAE is home to one of their largest operations.
The Golden Legacy Consultation is part of a growth strategy for tourism to Britain, with an ambition to reach 40 million visitors by 2020, a 3 per cent on year increase.
The consultation is an element of the Britain Tourism Strategy, which shows how aligning marketing and government policy can deliver jobs and growth, building an economic legacy on the successful hosting of the Olympic Games.
“This summer has shown what the British can do when we are united in a common cause,” said VisitBritain chairman, Christopher Rodrigues. “This country showed passion, professionalism, drive and energy to stage the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
“The UK already welcomes 31 million visitors from across the world, who spent Dh106.2 billion a year here last year, making the industry the third-largest earner of foreign exchange.”
Tourism, a major part of the UK economy, contributes nearly Dh679 billion to UK GDP, and provides employment for 2.6 million people – around 9 per cent on both measures.
VisitBritain’s Sumathi Ramanathan will be transferring to Dubai as manager for the Apmea region later this year, taking on permanent responsibility for the management of the Middle East and India as well as Asia Pacific. – TradeArabia News Service