Pubs are 'absolutely key' to Britain's tourism industry, VisitBritain chief executive claims

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Country pubs, England, Britain

Marketing director Joss Croft: 'Pubs form a critical part of people's visit to the UK'
Marketing director Joss Croft: 'Pubs form a critical part of people's visit to the UK'
Pubs are “absolutely key” to Britain’s tourism industry, VisitBritain’s chief executive has claimed.

In an exclusive interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser (PMA), Sandie Dawe said pubs are one of the main drives for the tourist board, because they are a unique British experience and provide tourists a warm welcome.

She said: “It’s unique to Britain that you get served at the bar and not at the table, and ordering drinks at the counter allows tourists to chat to people, particularly in country pubs, and that’s exactly what people want. They don’t want to feel like a tourist floating on top of the British experience, but want to feel part of the lifestyle.

“Pubs are something very specific to us in our culture, which is why we have our Pubs are GREAT creative and we cover pubs under our Culture is GREAT pillar too.”

Pubs are GREAT

VisitBritain teamed up with the British Beer & Pub Association and pubs minister Brandon Lewis MP to launch Pubs are GREAT, as part of the board’s wider GREAT Britain initiative, in July.

Speaking to the PMA after VisitBritain’s annual review launch last week, Dawe said that the board is in discussion with the BBPA with views to further the pub campaign, adding: “it is just a matter of time and resource”.

Food perceptions

During his introductory speech at the launch, chairman Christopher Rodrigues said the body was also working on changing people’s perceptions of food in pubs.

“People are still surprised – and we are working on this - at the number of Michelin star restaurants we have here and the quality of food in our gastro-pubs,” he said.

During a panel debate, Joss Croft, marketing director, added: “Pubs form a critical part of people’s visit to the UK. They are places where people can engage with British people and they know that they will receive a warm welcome.

“We know perceptions of value in Britain is one that need countering. Britain is a very good value destination, and pubs form an important part of our PR and digital work for that as well.”

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