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My Department works actively to promote tourism both domestic and inbound. At a national level, marketing and other work to promote the sector is the responsibility of VisitBritain, which in 2004 received grant-in-aid funding of £49 million.
VisitBritain's strategy to increase the value of inbound tourism and visitor numbers includes focusing effort on those markets and segments with the greatest potential for growth. For example, investment has been targeted on countries such as China, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea and Thailand.
In 2004 inbound visitor numbers grew by 12 per cent. on the previous year to reach a record 27.8 million, and spending by visitors was worth nearly £13 billion to the UK economy.