Posts Tagged VisitBritain

‘Sounds’ of Britain to encourage visitors

Big Ben picture by Flickr user tjuel

Big Ben picture by Flickr user tjuel

Sounds can evoke strong memories or associations, and VisitBritain is hoping to harness this power with it’s new sound-based ad campaign.

The £2.5 million TV and online ad campaign features the ‘sounds’ of Britain. These will include the pouring of a cup of tea, a black cap beeping and, of course, the chimes of Big Ben.

It’s been launched across key tourism markets: USA, Brazil, China, India, Gulf states, and throughout Europe.

The digital version will allow users to customise their own advert and itinerary set to the ‘sounds’ of Britain, and Rudimental’s song ‘Feel the Love’. They can also share the result with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Joss Croft, marketing director at VisitBritain said: “We want to involve people in creating their own British experience – first online where they can become the director of their own bespoke tourism ad, and then in reality following their individual journey across Britain according to their own interests and inspirations.

“This ad is something a little bit different and we hope it conveys the humour and character of a modern, confident Britain.”

If you’re visiting the UK, make sure to include Holiday Cottages in your Great British holiday plan!

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Record number of visitors to UK in 2013

It’s official – the UK saw a record annual inbound spend and numbers of visitors during 2013.

The results from the Office of National Statistics show overseas visitors spent £21 billion in 2013, 13% more than the previous record breaking year of 2012 which saw £18.64 billion.

It was also a record number for tourists, with 32.89 million visits from overseas, exceeding the previous record set in 2007, which saw 32.78 million visits.

The increase is, in part, thanks to VisitBritain’s GREAT Britain campaign, said the tourist board.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive at VisitBritain said: “Not only have we managed to surpass the £20bn barrier for the very first time, but we’ve broken records for holidaymakers and visitors from key growth markets such as China and South Korea.

“Holiday figures are up across the whole of Britain with robust growth for Scotland, Wales, Rest of England and London.”

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VisitBritain sets sights on American tourists

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.

 

 

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Top events for 2014

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre timeline picture by Flickr user Dysanovic

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre timeline picture by Flickr user Dysanovic

We’re speeding through January now, so let’s have a quick look at some of the main events in the UK for 2014!

1. This year will be the 450th birthday of England’s greatest poet and playwright, Shakespeare. Celebrations have already kicked off this month at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Candlelit plays, operas and concerts will be performed in the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. On Shakespeare’s actual birthday, 23rd April, during ‘Shakespeare Week’ The Globe will stage its first performance of Hamlet to start a two-year world tour.

2. 5th July will see Stage 1 of the Tour de France Grand Départ get underway in Leeds, Yorkshire. It will continue on through some of the most stunning countryside in the Yorkshire Dales through to the spa town of Harrogate. Stage 2 starts in the medieval city of York, finishing in my home town, Sheffield! Stage 3 sets off from Cambridge, cycling through the Essex countryside to London, leading to a spectacular finish at The Mall. An exciting sporting event, and great to use the route to explore different areas of the country.

3. Scotland gears up for a summer of sport with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July, and the golf championship, the Ryder Cup, at Gleneagles in September.

4. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Henley Royal Regatta. For five days from 1st July, teams from across the world will compete in this traditional rowing event across the River Thames. A great event to sit on the riverbank with a picnic in the sunshine.

5. Another anniversary this year, too; the centenary of Wales‘ greatest poet and writer, Dylan Thomas. The actual centenary is 27th October, but year-round events, exhibitions and festivals will celebrate Thomas and showcase Wales as an extraordinary land of artistic excellence.

 

Keep up to date with upcoming events around the UK featured on this blog, or search particular dates and places at the tourist board, VisitBritain.

 

 

 

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The Grass IS greener in the UK

Dartmoor picture by Flickr user Thierry Gregorious

Dartmoor picture by Flickr user Thierry Gregorious

The grass is always greener on the other side; apart from in the UK’s case, which appears to posses the elusive ‘green grass’. This comes as research finds visiting UK parks and gardens is one of the most popular activities for overseas visitors.

The research, carried out by VisitBritain, shows that 36% of all visitors are likely to enjoy some green space. Of the 31 million people visiting Britain each year, it might be surprising to find that around 2.4 million with a green space preference are aged between 25-34 compared to 1.4 million aged between 55-64.

The love of parks and gardens ranks ahead of visiting museums, castles or art galleries; but is beaten by going to the pub, eating out and shopping.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain said: “We’ve completed three big pieces of research which all indicate that our parks, gardens and natural beauty are a valuable tourism asset, admired across the world and enjoyed by our visitors.

“It’s hugely encouraging to see our gardens are as popular with the younger generation as they are with 55-plus age groups.”

 

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Yorkshire best for holidays in UK

Yorkshire in Autumn picture by Flickr user tejvanphotos

Yorkshire in Autumn picture by Flickr user tejvanphotos

 

VisitBritain might say that Yorkshire is not a ‘destination’, but at this year’s World Travel Awards, it was Yorkshire which received the title as ‘best for UK holiday’. The county fought off stiff competition from other nominees including Cornwall, Devon, the Peak District and Wales.

Yorkshire was given the title after a vote made by national and international travel agents. With around 216 million visitors each year, and a 12 per cent increase in international tourists last year, it’s an unsurprising win.

Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The win is testament to all the thousands of fantastic businesses we have in Yorkshire that time and again put the county on the map for millions of holidaymakers, not just in Britain, but the world over.”

In an attempt to continue to push the county as the place to visit, the tourist board are putting in a bid for the starting stage of the Tour de France in 2016. Every two years the famous tour has the opening stage of the race in another country before it continues into France. Around 150,000 people have backed the bid so far, why not join them?

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VisitBritain consultation over inbound travel

Each year the UK typically welcomes 31 million visitors from across the world. Last year alone, these visitors went on to spend a total of £18 billion. Riding on the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, VisitBritain has launched a consultation on inbound tourism with the aim of encouraging 40 million visitors by 2020 – a 3% increment year on year.

The strategy for growth includes working with the travel trade to ensure that Britain is appropriately packaged and sold to potential visitors. It also wants to ensure that visitors will find it easy to travel here by addressing the current aviation capacity and visas.

Reaching 40 million visitors would deliver an extra £8.7 billion in foreign exchange earnings at today’s prices, claims VisitBritain, adding that it would also support over 200,000 additional jobs.

Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, said: “This summer has shown what the country can do when we are united in a common cause. The test now is whether we can maintain this to create wealth and jobs through a major tourism drive.

“This consultation with the industry, the public agencies and multiple Government departments that care about tourism and impact on its success has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships.”

The consultation runs until 9th November, responses can be made at britainstrategyconsultation@visitbritain.org

 

 

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Riding on the success of London 2012

London 2012 logo made by school children. Photo by Flickr user surreynews

London 2012 logo made by school children. Photo by Flickr user surreynews

 

Riding on the success of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, VisitBritain is to launch a new campaign to attract visitors to the UK.

Official figures show a drop in visitors to the UK during the Olympics compared to a normal year. However, according to BAA, this is the ‘Olympic effect’, as UK passengers chose to stay at home to watch the Games, and non-Olympic visitors decided to defer their journeys.

A new advert with the slogan ‘Memories are GREAT’ will be launched by VisitBritain. It will include footage of the opening ceremony, and a print version will run for several months in National Geographic and Time Out magazines. It is hoped that this promotion will extend the good press and image the UK has received worldwide throughout the Games.

In addition, VisitBritain has partnered with STA Travel to promote Britain to the youth market on university campuses. Together with British Airways, £5 million will be invested in the US, Japan, China, and the Middle East to encourage visitors to the UK for Christmas shopping and January sales. BA will also offer discounted flights to help push the campaign.

Laurence Bresh, director of marketing at VisitBritain said: “The main event may be over, but the hard work begins now.

“Britain’s image and reputation around the world is riding high, this next stage of our GREAT campaign aims to convert worldwide interest into increased bookings. We’ve captured the world’s imagination on TV screens over the last few weeks, and now is the time to inspire them to come to Britain.”

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Further £27 million for GREAT campaign

The Government has given VisitBritain £27 million to attract overseas visitors to the UK. This is in addition to the £100 million match-funded marketing campaign also run by VisitBritain.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the funding as part of the GREAT campaign, which is to capitalise on attention from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

The UK aims to attract an extra 4.6 million visitors, spending an additional £2.3 billion across the country and supporting the creation of almost 60,000 new jobs.

Chief Executive of VisitBritain Sandie Dawe said: “This additional funding means we will be able to run the largest tourism marketing campaign in our history. “

“New Yorkers will see our ads in their papers and on the subway as they travel to work, meaning 72% of our target audience there will have a myriad of opportunities to see our campaign.

“In India and Paris we will also be on cinemas screens, while in China we will reach over 15 million potential visitors through a combination of magazines, subway and station ads, as well as using various online platforms.

“This GREAT campaign aims to reinvigorate our appeal in mature markets such as the USA where we have seen decline in recent years, and it will help raise our profile in the vital emerging markets, securing growth for the future.”

 

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