BTA, council to merge under new name

NEW YORK -- The British Tourist Authority (BTA) will undergo a name change next spring as part of a British government-ordered merger with the English Tourism Council, a BTA spokeswoman here confirmed.

The two tourism boards as of April 1 will combine efforts to promote the U.K. at home and abroad; a new joint name should be announced in coming months.

According to a report in Travel Weekly UK, British culture secretary Tessa Jowell also announced that England will have its own $15.6 million marketing budget for the first time in 2003.

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