For Sandie Dawe, VisitBritain’s Chief Executive, the challenge isn’t about drawing attention to Britain, thanks to a royal wedding, the 2012 Olympics, and the birth of a future king. The challenge lies in drawing tourists to Britain. Hindered by budget cuts, Dawe supplements government funding with contributions from private companies like British Airways. And in 2014, VisitBritain will launch a large-scale “China Welcome” initiative. Dawe explains, “We want to make sure that Britain competes effectively for this market, helping the industry to develop products and services that appeal to Chinese visitors and making sure that the message of the GREAT British welcome is widely promoted.”
Dawe has a background in crisis management, and chaired the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group. She has been with VisitBritain since 1991, and became director of Strategy and Communication in 1996. In 2008, the Queen awarded her an MBE for her services to the British tourist industry.