Inspiring the world to explore

Building aspiration to visit
Converting aspiration into bookings
Creating advocates to spread the word

From harnessing the power of social sharing to working with a wide range of partners to boost our global reach. In 2016 we used customer insight to bring more visitors to our shores, spreading economic growth across the nations and regions of Britain.

Encouraging exploration to increase incremental spend

Sunset image OMGB

Today’s tourism landscape is challenging and competitive, with international destinations all capitalising on the impact inbound tourism can have on their economies. In 2015/16 we placed strategic focus on showcasing what makes Britain exceptional, inspiring visitors to choose to travel and spend here above anywhere else.

Following our successful four-year £100 million match-funded marketing programme (from April 2011-March 2015), in 2016 we continued tactical and brand marketing campaigns that saw timely, relevant, insight-based activity entice audiences to explore our nations and regions, turning engagement into bookings to add value to our economy.

Children looking down from surfboardsAs a key partner of the multi-million pound GREAT campaign (which sees us collaborate with Government, Department for International Trade, FCO, DCMS and the British Council as well as commercial partners), our GREAT image campaign has increased the intention to travel to Britain from international markets. Independent research shows that the tourism element of the GREAT campaign has continued to have a positive impact on perceptions of Britain, particularly in terms of having much to explore outside of the capital.

As a result of our GREAT tourism campaign activity, our campaigns have generated a potential 1,183,900 additional visits, with an additional visitor spend of £656 million since May 2012. Results also show that the proportion of nights spent in Scotland increased by 30% and by more than three times in Wales as a result of our activity. Plus interest to visit outside of London has reached peak levels since 2012.


Using storytelling to drive global engagement

Scenes of ChinaDelivered through our activity with the GREAT campaign, #OMGB – (Oh My GREAT Britain) Home of Amazing Moments launched in January 2016. An evolution of our previous marketing campaigns, it presents a new over-arching proposition in promoting travel here – building the aspiration to explore the whole of Britain, generating bookings and ultimately increase visitor spend.

In the initial phase, the campaign primarily rolled out in Brazil, China, France, Germany and the USA. It used fresh storytelling to raise awareness of the unique experiences to be had, and promoted Britain's key cities, highlighting them as gateways to Britain's countryside.

We also worked with partners to increase visitors from China, converting the aspiration to visit into bookings by making it easier for travellers to book a holiday to Britain. China’s biggest tour operator ran the #OMGB campaign across its digital channels, highlighting the new direct route from Manchester to Beijing and showcasing the breadth of what visitors can experience across the North of England.

Year one of our international #OMGB campaign in numbers
  • We’ve reached over 3 million people internationally on social media
  • Our competitions generated 190,000 international entries
  • The campaign website,, has received 2 million page views


Maximising social to build aspiration

Screenshot of OMGB campaign websiteWith social media playing a key role in decision making for 89% of our target audience, we also seized the opportunity to ensure #OMGB harnessed the power of social sharing.  

The #OMGB social campaign centred on encouraging social interaction across digital channels by inviting travellers to share snapshots of special moments and experiences with their friends, family and social communities using the campaign hashtag. Alongside this, the campaign drove visitors to an online hub filled with captivating images, cinemagraphs and videos, encouraging users to share these images too. Together, this customer engagement turned visitors into brand advocates, endorsing the campaign and ultimately helping to raise Britain’s profile and booking potential with other customers.

#OMGB Home of Amazing Moments international campaign
#OMGB Home of Amazing Moments domestic campaign
Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign - 2014/15

Building intention to travel at home

Lake DistrictThis year, our Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign (a collaboration between all the national tourist boards, regional destinations and commercial and strategic partners) evolved into #OMGB – Home of Amazing Moments. The campaign continued the mission to boost the number of Brits visiting home destinations and promoted the unique range of experiences to be had.

In 2015, our Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign generated an incremental spend of £97.2 million, contributing to an incremental spend of almost £618 million over four years and laying the foundations for our 2016 #OMGB – Home of Amazing Moments domestic activity.



Screenshot of OMGB websiteAt the heart of this activity, a £2.5 million TV, digital, print and outdoor campaign encouraged people to take holidays at home. From inspirational images and competitions on our campaign hub,, to inviting people to share their own UK holiday special moments, we built anticipation and captured interest.

We also worked with a number of travel trade partners to encourage engagement in the campaign, including: Advantage, Barrhead Travel, Premier Travel, The Travel Network Group, Thomas Cook, TUI and tour operators Attraction World, Bourne Leisure, Hoseasons, Shearings and Superbreak – all of whom used campaign imagery and logos in their advertising, stores and online.

Expected to deliver an additional 1.3 million overnight stays and a £100 million boost to the UK economy in 2016/17, #OMGB – Home of Amazing Moments builds on four years of marketing activity to encourage people to explore.



Year of the English Garden 2016 logoAlongside #OMGB we generated interest in England’s regions and drove footfall with our Year of the English Garden campaign. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of landscape architect Capability Brown, the campaign shone a spotlight on England’s impressive gardens, with competitions, events, press activity and a match-funded digital campaign to inspire additional or extended overnight visits during 2016.




Our campaigns targeting domestic visitors saw:
  • An incremental spend of £97.2 million for Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign in 2015/16
  • 9.3 million impressions and 349,000 engagements across digital activity
  • 82,000 visits to the Holidays at Home campaign microsite

Collaborating on compelling campaigns that connect

Making the most of this year’s cinematic releases, we leveraged excitement and exposure to encourage visitors to explore the destinations behind the film locations.

In 2015 we collaborated with Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM Studios to run a Bond is GREAT campaign across more than 70 countries, marking the release of SPECTRE. The campaign saw 177 million impacts across US, France and Germany, over 6 million views of our Bond is GREAT video, with a potential reach of over 28 million consumers worldwide via the #HomeofBond tag.

BFG OMGB campaign stillWe brokered new partnerships and built on existing relationships, collaborating with Disney for the first time to promote Britain as a family-friendly destination, promoting the destination behind the film release of The BFG, continuing our partnership with Downtown Abbey to entice American travellers to visit and working closely with Turkish Airlines to showcase regional Britain and target the young, upwardly-mobile Indian audience.

Drawing on the attraction Shakespeare has for overseas visitors, we also worked closely with the British Council, Department for International Trade, FCO and as part of the GREAT campaign to deliver Shakespeare Lives – Play Your Part, a campaign celebrating the 400th anniversary of his death and improve perceptions of the UK.



Chatsworth HouseWe continued our successful collaboration with the Premier League promoting the destinations behind Britain’s football teams, and worked with a range of travel partners including British Airways, Expedia, easyJet, Malaysia Airways, Turkish Airways and Hainan Airways to raise awareness, open up new routes and generate interest in our regions, targeting key markets in all continents.

With sterling worth 10% less against the US dollar, our latest campaign with British Airways in July shared the ‘Welcome to Britain’ message with US consumers inspiring them to travel now. Targeting leisure and business travellers with a flash sale, it encouraged them to book immediately to experience all that Britain has to offer.


Overcoming challenges and driving footfall

Girl on Broomstick in NorthumberlandThe countryside was also the focus of our flood recovery programme in 2015/16 as we worked closely with the Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Office, DCMS, Department for Communities and Local Government, DEFRA, Department for Transport and Destination Management Organisations of the affected areas in Northern England and Scotland to drive awareness of the destinations being open for business, to drive bookings during half-term and Easter breaks. Announced by the Prime Minister and supported by HRH The Prince of Wales, we partnered with Virgin Trains and West Coast train lines to offer discounted train fares to the affected areas. Heathrow Airport also backed the campaign with an image campaign promoting the flood-affected areas at their terminals. Interim results indicated 48% of people who saw the campaign said it made them more likely to consider the affected areas for a holiday or short break with over 2,600 train tickets booked.


#OpenforBusiness in numbers – after two weeks of the flood recovery campaign:
  • 2,676 additional train tickets to the affected areas were sold
  • Local destination websites taking part in the campaign saw 400,000 unique visits
  • Initial incremental spending on trips taken on the first two weeks of the six week campaign, which can be attributed to the campaign, was £4 million
  • 48% of people who saw the campaign said it made them more likely to consider the destinations shown for a holiday or short break
In 2015/16 we placed strategic focus on showcasing what makes Britain unique, inspiring visitors to choose to travel and spend here above anywhere else.