Be better at 'the business of tourism'

AC 1.1 - Describe forms of ownership for tourism organisations

Support services

Support services include organisations such as Visit England or Visit Wales whose main job is to encourage tourists to visit the country they represent and to improve tourist facilities. They operate on a national level; they are funded by the government and so belong to the public sector. 

In recent years, some local and regional tourist boards have been replaced by Destination Management Organisations which operate on a more commercial basis to encourage tourism investment.

Also, belonging to the public sector but funded by local councils and working on a local level, are Tourist Information Centres (TICs). Their job is to market and monitor the quality and development of the particular area they serve. They inform visitors about accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and transport. They provide maps of the town and region they serve.


In groups of three or four research the organisation, ‘Visit Britain’, the UK’s largest support Service.

  • What services does it offer?
  • How does it promote the UK?

Now look at your own local or regional tourist board and compare it to what you discovered about Visit Britain.

  • How are they similar and how are they different?

Share your findings with the class.

Make notes of what other groups have found if they offer any information that is different to yours.