Building on Britain’s rich heritage, strong cultural assets and varied countryside, our campaigns promote the best of Britain, bringing in additional visitors and encouraging them to explore our country. We work in partnership with a range of organisations across the public and private sectors, maximising government investment, providing strong returns for our partners and attracting ever-increasing numbers of visitors.
Downton Abbey 2019 film launch
VisitBritain promotes Britain as a destination to visit right now and a film premier or the release of a new season provides an exciting and timely opportunity to reach audiences and inspire them to plan their trip now.
The release of the Downton Abbey film gives us a valuable opportunity to promote our world-renowned heritage as well as local destinations, visitor attractions and experiences that visitors can only have in Britain to an international audience of millions, converting the inspiration to visit into actual bookings, boosting visitor numbers and local economies.
To celebrate the launch, VisitBritain has been running competitions across the globe including Australia, Denmark, France, Norway, the Netherlands and the US for fans to win Downton-themed trips to Britain. We are also promoting Downton inspired content across our social media channels to highlight travel to Britain and working with international media on Downton-themed media trips.
And in the US, where VisitBritain has an official content partnership with the Downton Abbey film studio Focus Features, pre-film inspiration trailers are running in movie theatres as well as a promotional campaign, with sweepstakes and exclusive movie content to inspire people to travel to Britain. You can see an example here.
Our research shows that 42% of international travellers from California or the Tri-State area in the US are keen to visit Highclere Castle. Also, the UK’s castles and stately homes are a popular attraction for overseas visitors, with 28% of all trips including a visit to a castle or historic house. Films and TV are powerful motivators for travel with almost a third of potential visitors to the UK wanting to visit places seen-on-screen. Regional filming locations allow us to promote the whole of the UK and not just the obvious hot spots. The success of British period TV drama and adaptations of classic novels have also delivered a real boost to visitor numbers, including to buildings used as filming locations and showcasing less explored regions.
British Tourism Days 2019
We recently held the British Tourism Days 2019 event at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Moscow and in St. Petersburg.
The event, which was organised jointly with Business Services International (BSI) UK DMC was opened by our Europe Director, Robin Johnson, and launched three new itineraries for the Russian market focusing on food and drink, countryside England and Game of Thrones. Attendees included 150 leading Russian travel agents and 12 UK commercial partners including British Airways; Conrad London St James Hotel; Como Hotels & Resorts; Corinthia Hotel London; The Grand, York; Intercontinental London Park Lane Hotel; Langham Hotel; Warwick Hotels & Resorts; The Westbury Mayfair Hotel, London; Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter; Abbey College, London School of Business and Finance; and MPW College Group.
Summer in Britain campaign
In June 2019 we launched a new campaign across Europe to promote summer travel to Britain. Targeting five of the UK’s most valuable inbound markets - France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain - the digital campaign highlights what makes Britain a must-go destination during the summer. Focusing on the many gateways in Britain the creative content highlights food, outdoor adventure, culture and music experiences to grow regional tourism.
Content is being promoted using a mix of short films, digital display banners and social media advertising to target the 'buzzseeker' audience. We are also promoting the content across our channels linking users to our dedicated campaign hub where travellers can access destination-specific information to book a trip to Britain.
Ctrip partnership enters its second year
Our partnership with Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, has entered its second year with a combined campaign running until March 2019. Using a variety of channels, our activity includes an I Travel For... branded wrap around a metro train on the busiest line in Shanghai. The train will run for a full month and be seen by 16 million people.
We invited Americans to Find Your GREAT Britain by partnering with US National TV show
We partnered with Live with Kelly & Ryan, the long-running national ABC TV morning talk show, to promote travel to Britain via British Airways for Find Your GREAT Britain. The competition offered seven chances for viewers to win a trip to locations including London, England, Scotland and Wales as well as a grand prize. On Monday 25 February, Paul Gauger, our Deputy Director - Americas presented the grand prize of a trip to England, Scotland and Wales on the stage of the Dolby Theater where the Oscars took place the night before.
New activity in India to encourage regional visits
In the lead up to England and Wales hosting the 2019 Cricket World Cup, we’ve partnered with ESPNCricinfo to inspire cricket fans in India to book a trip to Britain, travel further and stay for longer. The six-month campaign includes a competition to find India’s biggest cricket fan and promotes the destinations hosting the Indian cricket team this summer. The competition winner will travel to Britain and visit the match destinations of Birmingham, Leeds and London as well as Manchester, Nottingham and Southampton.
Inspiring Chinese visitors to visit the UK
Our latest campaign with British Airways is live in China and aims to inspire visitors to book their trip to the UK. The campaign delivers targeted marketing to audiences to maximise conversion and has so far resulted in approximately 1 million clicks to BA's website so far.
Reaching Buzzseekers with the Matador Network in the US
We’ve partnered with content marketing agency, Matador Network, in a campaign aimed to boost inbound tourism from the US to Britain. Using video and editorial content to reach our target audience – Buzzseekers, the campaign tells the stories of destinations to inspire visitors to travel further and stay longer.
The activity started in January 2019 and will use video content of London, Southern England, Wales, Northern England, and Southern Scotland on their website. Take a look at the video of Northern England and Southern Scotland.