Jowell reveals extra £40m to woo back foreign tourists

A further £40m is to be spent on promotions to woo foreign tourists back to Britain.

The extra cash, announced this week by culture secretary Tessa Jowell, is the UK's largest ever promotional spend on tourism. The aim is to bring in an extra one million tourists, who it is hoped will spend an estimated £500m.

This extra spend, which equates to £40 for each expected tourist, has been taken to help revive a sector ravaged by the foot-and-mouth crisis and the aftermath of 11 September.

The Government will plough £20m into the campaign, with the rest raised by the tourist industry itself.

The campaign is being managed by the British Tourist Authority and involves around 20 travel and hospitality organisations.

Most of the cash will be spent on TV ads in seven countries: the US, Canada, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Ireland and Germany. £1m has been set aside to promote UK tourist attractions in the UK.

PR for the campaign is being handled in-house by the BTA, but external PR support could by sought as the campaign is developed, according to Orla Farren, BTA corporate PR manager.

She said: 'It's early days but PR is an important part of this to help get the message out.'

Three ad agencies - AMV, Ogilvy & Mather and BMP.DDB - have been invited to pitch for the account.

'Further support in terms of PR could be sub-contracted by the successful ad agency,' the spokeswoman said.

Earlier this year, the BTA launched its £5m promotional push called UK:OK (PRWeek, 19 October 2001).

The UK:OK campaign , like this latest promotional spend, focuses on heritage, the countryside and culture.

Danish former model Helena Christensen has this week been linked to this latest campaign after revealing to BBC chatshow host Johnny Vaughan that she would 'love to be the face of British tourism'.

Meanwhile, this week saw the launch of the London Communications Network, a group of more than 100 comms and PA professionals aimed at projecting a positive image of the capital.

A series of networking events throughout the year ahead will see members asked to be 'ambassadors' for London, promoting it as a business centre and a good place to live and work.

It is being co-ordinated by Anna Barlow, executive director of comms at inward investment body London First.

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