VisitEngland, the tourism body, is to receive £19.8m in funding from the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to spend on a three-year project called “Growing Tourism Locally”. A key part of the project will be a national campaign aimed at inspiring Britons to take more short breaks and holidays at home and in doing so grow jobs in the tourism sector. The funding will now be allocated to a number of destination partners in England that will work closely with VisitEngland to design and implement local campaigns. James Berresford, VisitEngland's chief executive, said: “With this additional money we can mount a serious campaign to stimulate domestic tourism that has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,500 full time jobs in areas across the country suffering economic challenges. “We will work closely with Government on the next stage of the process which determines the terms and conditions of the funding.” The news was also welcomes by the British Hospitality Association (BHA). Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive at the BHA said: “The £19.8m grant represents an investment in the future of the UK tourism industry and shows much-needed official support for Britain's fifth largest industry. It is a very welcome boost of VisitEngland's promotional work which aims to expand the market and encourage more British people to stay at home for their holidays.”

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