VisitBritain is rolling out a £9.8 million ad campaign targeting the United States and other leading markets, built in part upon an irreverent look at the country’s love of tea.
While inviting visitors to “See things differently,” the campaign that runs until early spring focuses on markets where VisitBritain is seeing strong recovery, including the U.S. – its largest market – Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and that tourism is also a fiercely competitive global industry,” says VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates. “Our priority is to build on the recovery we have seen, competing hard in markets where we are seeing strong growth, tapping in to motivations for travel now to drive bookings.”
VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast shows continued strong recovery in overseas visitor spending. Its latest forecast for 2023 is for overseas visitor spending in the United Kingdom of £29.5 billion, up 4% on the all-time spending high of £28.4 billion in 2019. It estimates 35.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 86% of 2019 levels.
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The campaigns have been developed based on VisitBritain’s research into motivations for travel now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences and markets.
In March, a new online game on VisitBritain’s consumer website, using machine learning, goes live where players can have a fun go at mastering the accents with links to destination information to drive bookings.
Both multi-media marketing campaigns are using a mix of on-and-offline channels including short films and branded content across social media, digital display advertising, for example digital billboards in the Paris Metro, and print media. Content also drives online traffic to VisitBritain’s consumer website with ideas and links to activities, attractions and experiences themed around “See Things Differently” using #lovegreatbritain.
VisitBritain is working with partners including Lastminute.com in Europe and online travel market place Wego in the GCC as well as paid content partnerships to extend the campaigns’ reach and drive bookings.
They also plan to highlight major events in 2023 including the Coronation of King Charles III in May and Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, also in May.
“All eyes are on Britain this year,” Yates says. “By telling the story of our dynamic destinations and diverse culture, along with a warm British welcome, we’re inspiring visitors to discover more, stay longer and explore year-round, supporting local businesses and economies.”