VisitEngland to promote 2012 as ‘Year of England’

VisitEngland to promote 2012 as ‘Year of England’

VisitEngland has announced it will promote 2012 as the year of England in the build-up to a decade of sporting events. The association is to use a series of events, starting with the Olympics, to promote England to domestic and international tourists. “During the year [2012] some may feel that London is full or some may want to escape London because it will be full of tourists,” James Berresford, chief executive at VisitEngland told Travel Daily. “But actually 2012 is a year of sport because of the culturally Olympiad and we will be promoting that year as the year of England. It will kick off a decade of sport because once the Olympics is over we’ll have the World Cup of Rugby Union, World cup Rugby League, World Cup of cricket and possibly FIFA World Cup. All that will put a fantastic focus on England.” Berresford is confident that the whole country will benefit from hosting these events and said people would not be deterred by high ticket prices. “Those who want to pay the premium will but there will be other tickets available such as the football in Glasgow, Coventry and Manchester and those are a route for people to see an Olypmic event without the cost,” he said. “There’s also so much that is free, particularly the cultural events.” As a result, VisitEngland is undertaking more work with destination management companies to help ensure that cities, towns and villages are ready for guests. “A trip is about the real experience and the new government policy is encouraging us to work with destination management companies and the destinations themselves need to present themselves as the complete offer,” explained Berresford. “It’s not just the hotels and attractions but it is about everyone being welcoming, making sure signs are right, that the streets are clean etc; what we expect on a visit.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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