The UK government will increase the marketing spend to promote Great Britain over the next two years, with a major jump in funding planned for its ongoing “GREAT” campaign, three years into it.

It will spend a further £90 million ($148 million) to the overall campaign over the next two years, £45 million will be allocated in 2014/15 and £45 million in 2015/16, a significant increase on this year’s allocation of £30 million.

VisitBritain, the main tourism promotion body for the country, says 2013 will experience the highest international spend by tourists in its history, and says that it is vital to keep up this momentum with extra marketing spend. It says the GREAT image campaign has performed well on the international stage and is set to deliver an extra £200 million of inbound spend over the next two years.

As for the actual visitors to UK, the year-to-date numbers (PDF link) shows that in the first nine months of 2013 the number of visits from overseas is 6 percent up on the same period of 2012 while visitor spending is up by 11%. As the year ends, VisitBritain forecasts the volume of inbound tourism in 2013 is likely to be 3.0% up on last year with spending (before inflation) up 10.7%.

As for 2014, it is now forecasting the volume of inbound tourism will grow 1.8% in 2014 while spending is set to increase by 4.2%. This would represent growth slightly below the historical trend rate seen in arrivals to Britain since 1980.

If accurate these forecasts would see the volume of visits back at the record levels of 2008 and that the value of spending at record levels.

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Tags: marketing, uk