Inspiring the world to explore
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
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.
As 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
Delivered 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 Tuniu.com 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.
We’ve reached over 3 million people internationally on social media
Our competitions generated 190,000 international entries
The campaign website, omgb.com, has received 2 million page views
Maximising social to build aspiration
With 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.