VisitBritain is setting its sights on American tourists over the next couple of years.

The national tourism agency has signed a joint marketing deal with one of the largest US travel companies in order to promote travel to the UK.

VisitBritain said the deal with The Travel Corporation was the “largest agreement of its kind for VisitBritain in the US market to date”.

3.5 million travellers from North America visited the UK between December 2012 and November 2013. It hopes the marketing campaign, due to start in February, will help to increase this number to a target of 1 million more US and Canadian visitors a year by 2016.

The main partnership activities will focus on culture, heritage and countryside themes, with multi-channel marketing targeting both the travel agency market and consumers.