Campaign with Scandinavian Airlines to boost inbound tourism
Running for 5 weeks in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the digital campaign was aimed at enticing visitors to explore the London boroughs of Greenwich, Hackney and Richmond as well as the city’s famous attractions and landmarks. There was also a focus on promoting cities and towns within a two-hour radius of London, inspiring visitors to travel further and explore more in destinations including Brighton, Oxford and Windsor.
Partnership with China-based company Tencent to promote the UK
We partnered with the China based internet company Tencent to inspire more Chinese visitors to the UK. Two new tracks were introduced to the 3D racing game QQ speed, allowing gamers to tour the UK virtually, exploring "British Castles" a track themed on Windsor, and "North Sea fishery", a track based on British seaside villages.
Love is GREAT activities with the LiGay Football League
We partnered with the British Consulate to work with the Brazilian National LGBTQ Football League, LiGay at a tournament on 2-3 November 2018.
Love is GREAT branding was used throughout the grounds, creating numerous photo opportunities for social media posts by the players from across 16 teams. Media opportunities, as well as speaking and photo opportunities, helped increase awareness and drive editorial coverage to encourage visitors from Brazil to come to the UK.
US content producers share Britain travel recommendations in new podcast series
In partnership with British Airways and American Airlines, we worked with Slate Studios and three American producers on a series of podcasts to inspire more US visitors to Britain. The series follows their experiences as they discover locals’ recommendations around food, culture and adventure across Britain.
The podcasts were available to download from iTunes and generated 14,000 downloads in their first two weeks.
Year three of US Manchester Gateway partnership campaign launched
The third year of our US Manchester Gateways Partnership launched on 21 May 2018, encouraging US visitors to choose Manchester, Northern England and Northern Wales as destinations.
The partnership drove awareness of Virgin Atlantic's seasonal non-stop flights from Boston and San Francisco to Manchester airport. The thrice-weekly flights from San Francisco are the first flights to fly directly between the cities.
The campaign promoted Manchester as the gateway to the north of England, featuring the wealth of experiences that are unique to the area, from llama trekking to live music. The website offered visitors a range of itineraries based on themes inspired by I Travel For... passion points including unexpected, bliss, thrills and characters.
Working with media partners on both sides of the Atlantic, the campaign ran throughout the summer to produce further engaging content and itineraries for the US market.
Promoting unexpected Britain through the launch of the Honor 10 smartphone
On 15 May 2018 our CEO, Sally Balcombe and President of Honor, George Zhao, launched the new Honor 10 smartphone to over 500 international media and 300 guests at an event in London.
We worked with partners to identify Chinese and British influencers to help amplify the reach of the launch. Three influencers were selected to explore the unexpected in Britain through bespoke itineraries created by VisitBritain. Their images showcased Britain through the lens of the Honor 10 on their social media channels. The public entry campaign #AIMAZING launched later in the month.
Showcasing London to the US market with British Airways
To celebrate the first direct flight from Nashville to London in more than 20 years, we partnered with British Airways to promote the new non-stop service, which began on 4 May.
Sculptures of British icons including the Queen, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Union Jack and the Royal Guard were placed in Nashville locations, highlighting the historic links between London and Nashville. The icons were on display until 6 May. As part of the activity, we ran a competition with British Airways where a lucky Nashvillian won a trip for two to London with three nights’ accommodation at a four-star property.
Inspiring more Chinese visitors to explore Great Britain
On March 5 2018 we launched a new digital campaign in partnership with Ctrip, one of China’s largest online travel agencies, to inspire Chinese visitors to explore Great Britain through a series of captivating images, video and content using our new ‘ Travel For... creative.
Partnership with easyJet
Our latest partner campaign with easyJet went live in key cities across Europe throughout March 2018, in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands, and used a mix of inspirational destination content and a compelling fare to motivate our target audience to travel to Britain. The channels that used included radio, digital, influencer and 360 video.
British Airways promotes UK travel in China
We announced a new partnership with British Airways to promote Britain in China and encourage visitors to the UK.
The campaign, which ran from 8 November to 8 December 2017, focused on younger audiences in Shanghai and Beijing in the first phase using digital and social media. Flash ticket sales and special discounts were offered to encourage take-up.
A second phase targeted promotion in the financial media aimed at business class travellers.
New partnership with Studiocanal on film tourism campaign for Paddington 2 movie
We launched a new campaign to tempt international visitors to come and discover the wonders of Britain in a new Paddington 2 film tourism campaign in partnership with Studiocanal.
The sequel, which appeared in UK cinemas from 10 November 2017, followed Paddington as he explored London. Among the many iconic locations featured in the film were Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, London Paddington station, Portobello Road and Little Venice.
VisitBritain’s digital and social media campaign drove online traffic to a campaign hub on visitbritain.com/paddington2. Visitors to the site could explore Paddington-themed content, including a shareable interactive marmalade-inspired menu and bookable bear-approved visitor experiences. They could also enter a competition to win a family trip to Britain to explore London and beyond by train, highlighting the ease of travelling around the UK.
The hub also features a ‘user-generated’ feed of content, with visitors encouraged to upload their own Paddington-inspired experiences in Britain, using #Paddington2 and #PaddingtonsBritain.
Inspired By...VisitBritain and BBC Worldwide launch documentary-style films in the US with BBC StoryWorks
As part of VisitBritain’s global partnership with BBC StoryWorks, we produced four two-minute documentary style films that aired on BBC World News to an American audience between October 2017 and March 2018. The films challenged perceptions of traditional Britain, offering a modern take on the stunning landscapes, culture, fashion and history, and will air on BBC World News to an American audience from October 2017 to March 2018.
Focusing on London, Manchester, Scotland and Wales, the films each featured a well-known local personality; Dr. Shini Somara, Stanley Chow, Siobhan Mackenzie and Gethin Jones. The ‘local heroes’ showcased and talked about how their British roots have inspired them.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle partnership campaign
We launched a six-week global campaign in partnership with MARV Films, 20th Century Fox and Expedia to inspire people to book a Kingsman-inspired holiday to Britain. The campaign included a “Kingsman takeover” on a bespoke VisitBritain Expedia content platform where visitors could explore Kingsman-themed content including information about the British filming locations and details of visitor experiences. They could also create and book itineraries for their trip to Britain, which could be shared with friends through social media. Visitors could also enter a competition to win a Kingsman-themed trip to Britain.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle was filmed across Britain and features iconic landmarks including Savile Row, Hyde Park, Eventim Apollo (formerly Hammersmith Apollo) and the Greenwich Royal Naval College in London. Other filming locations included Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales and GlenDronach Distillery in Forgue By Huntly, Scotland.
Partnership to attract visitors from Australia
We partnered with Australia’s biggest retail travel brand Flight Centre on a two-week campaign to target Flight Centre's Explorer audience who were planning their next UK/Europe holiday.
Using an adaptation of our 'Home of Amazing Moments' creative assets, the campaign combined tactical packages from product companies Infinity Holidays, Etihad Airways and Globus Touring, over a range of channels including a dedicated Edinburgh episode of a new Flight Centre TV series currently on air in Australia, and a new Travel Ideas magazine that focused solely on the UK.
The match-funded campaign ran until the end of November.
Campaign with Xiami Music to reach Chinese millennials
We launched a music campaign in collaboration with online music platform, Xiami Music, to encourage young people across China to visit Britain.
The campaign was part of the larger Spirit of Youth initiative, which was launched in Beijing by HRH Princess Royal and the British Ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward. Partnering with the British Council, British Airways, Jaguar Land Rover and International English Language Test System (IELTS), the campaign featured a programme of themed events and activities including culture and creative, sport and tourism that took place over six months.
Running from 4-18 July, Xiami Music promoted a British music playlist including Adele, Coldplay and Bowie, and highlighted destination information to young millennials via the online platform and app. Individuals also had the opportunity to enter a competition to win a trip to Britain.
British Famous campaign in partnership with British Airways and American Airlines
We worked in partnership with American Airlines and British Airways to inspire more US visitors to Britain. The ‘British Famous’ campaign ran online and featured British comedian, Diane Morgan, in a series of four videos as she attempts to ‘make it’ in America by transforming herself into what she believed Americans will love – a self-help guru, an action star, a hipster foodie and a rock star - whilst promoting England, Scotland and Wales along the way. The videos were released across multiple platforms in the US and drove online traffic to a hub filled with destination content from VisitBritain and tactical fares and offers from American Airlines and British Airways, converting the inspiration to visit into bookings. In addition to the campaign, the joint business agreement between American Airlines and British Airways saw more routes and flights to Britain than any other airline partnership.
Where stories become legends film campaign
To celebrate the release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword we launched an international film tourism campaign to showcase why Britain is a legendary tourist destination. The six-week ‘Where Stories Become Legends’ digital campaign, a non-commercial partnership with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in cinemas this May from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, inspires people to book a film-inspired holiday to Britain using #OMGBLegends (Oh My Great Britain ‘Home of Legendary Moments’).
The campaign ran across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat in the US, France, Germany and Australia as well as VisitBritain’s owned channels.
New non-stop British Airways flight to London from New Orleans
To mark the launch of British Airways' direct service between New Orleans and London we ran strategic PR and media activities including a social media engagement campaign using the hashtag #BALovesNOLA and a media and influencer event to promote the route. An installation of iconic British people, places and things was set against New Orleans landmarks.
To commemorate the launch of the only non-stop flight between New Orleans and Europe, British Airways and VisitBritain gave away a trip to London including two round-trip tickets from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and a four-night stay whilst there.
Inspiring visitors from South Africa to book a trip to Britain
We partnered with British Airways to launch our #OMGB - Home of Amazing Moments campaign in South Africa, as part of the campaign, British Airways is offering discounted airfares of up to 20%.
The campaign also included a competition to win a trip for two from South Africa to the UK where competition winners were able to experience one of four amazing moments - from riding the world’s fastest zip line in Wales or relaxing at a spa in Cardiff to living like royalty at a Scottish castle or soaking up the atmosphere at a Manchester United football game.
Search for the biggest Premier League fan
After successful campaigns in Norway and China where we have found the biggest Premier League fans we launched the campaign in America. Entrants were asked to record a short video explaining what made them the biggest Premier League fan in America. The US ranks fourth globally for the number of overseas visitors to Britain who watch a live Premier League match during their trip.
In Norway we teamed up with Norwegian broadcaster TV2 and #KulTour to find their biggest Premier League fan. We also ran the competition in China, partnering with SuperSports, China’s official Premier League broadcaster. Winners of the competition were sent on their dream trip to the UK to attend a Premier League match. Through our Football is GREAT campaign, we encouraged visitors across the world to travel to Britain and enjoy a Premier League football match, as part of our drive to get tourists out exploring more of regional Britain. Find out more about football tourism.
It all starts in Manchester
We partnered with Virgin Atlantic and Marketing Manchester to showcase Manchester and the North through four holiday films based around sport, culture, outdoor activities and nightlife shot in a first-person camera phone photography style in a social media tone. The campaign ran across Instagram and Facebook and were supported with digital banners on various travel websites in the US driving consumers to engage further on the content hub. The website content was grouped by the four key themes with a focus on practical information and links through to comprehensive itineraries showing users how to experience their #OMGB moments in Manchester and the North, including places to stay and how to get around Manchester and the surrounds.
Britain’s rail journeys receive a boost in the Australian market
We launched a new campaign, Extraordinary Rail Journeys of Britain, in partnership with Tempo Holidays, which saw eleven new regional rail itineraries promoted to Australian consumers. Packages included accommodation and rail passes to encourage visitors to explore local destinations.
Tempo Holidays are a well-known Australian tour operator that is also part of Cox & Kings travel company. Tempo Holidays' reservation staff took part in bespoke training sessions to help them promote the best rail journey to meet their customer’s needs. New product launches took place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Reaching millennials through music in partnership with STA Travel
We partnered with STA Travel on a digital campaign to target millennials from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Germany. The campaign featured Bestival, Boardmasters and Festival No 6 as the hero imagery to inspire consumers through STA Travel’s social media channels to visit their website.
The content hub landing pages encouraged visitors to explore more about these iconic music festivals and the wide range of unique experiences available in Britain including horse riding in the New Forest, canyoning in Dorset, Stonehenge, football at Old Trafford, Windsor Castle, Via Ferrata and much more. This content-rich campaign ran until 31 March 2017 featured videos, blogs, travel offers and user-generated content.
Making Britain 'the only place you need to go'
To continue to grow the valuable US market and position Britain as a warm and welcoming destination, offering a wide range of experiences,
we’ve partnered with Expedia to produce a 30-second television commercial that ran for six weeks on US television with primetime slots as well as during shows with organically British themes. Destinations featured included London, Manchester, Cornwall, Wales and Scotland – each presented by a fun and dynamic local guide from across Britain. The second phase of the campaign was launched in early February.
Working with commercial partners to build on our #OMGB Home of Amazing Moments campaign
From October – December 2016 we partnered with British Airways, Etihad, Flight Centre, Hainan Airlines and Qatar Airways to increase the reach of our #OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain) Home of Amazing Moments campaign to encourage people to explore Britain. We showcased what Britain has to offer through regional gateways in the UAE, India, Australia and New Zealand through our activity with Etihad and Qatar Airways. Also in Australia, we promoted regional Britain through bespoke itineraries focussing on culture, countryside and food and drink that were featured in Flight Centre stores throughout the country.
For the first two weeks of November, in partnership with British Airways, we promoted travel between Beijing/Shanghai and London through digital and social media targeting social pioneers and cultural adventurers.
Bringing football home with the Premier League
We entered the ninth season of our ongoing partnership with Premier League, focusing on converting football fans into visitors to Britain. Capitalising on the huge global appeal of the Premier League – the world’s most-watched football competition – our Football is GREAT campaign aimed to increase the number of football visitors to Britain.
Our PR coverage reached over 137 million people. In addition, we took part in BPL Live! for the second time, the official Premier League fan event, held in Cape Town, South Africa in March 2015 where we received exposure to over 35,000 fans who attended the free event.
To further encourage football fans to come to Britain we sponsored the Premier League Fantasy Football grand prize, a trip to Britain. This gave us exposure to over 3.7 million fans who took part in Fantasy Premier League, an increase of 200,000 entrants compared to the previous season.
Our social media posts reached more than 2.4million people across the season with bespoke social content including a new #OMGB football video generating over 1 million views in one week through video seeding
International football fans planning a trip to Britain can find everything they need to know, through our dedicated Premier League content hub.
Welcome to Britain campaign
We partnered with British Airways to share the ‘Welcome to Britain’ message to inspire US consumers to travel now. The value campaign targeted leisure and business travellers encouraging them to book immediately to experience the amazing moments you can only get in Britain. The flash sale ran for two weeks on BA.com ending 12 July. We supported the campaign through PR activity, social media and print advertisements.
We also mounted a campaign in the Gulf, Far East, Middle East and Africa where sentiment seems to be positive and the price advantage given the weakness of the Sterling was well understood.
Inspiring people to engage and share their Wimbledon experiences
To coincide with this year’s Wimbledon Championships we ran social media activity from 27 June-10 July showcasing Wimbledon as an ‘amazing’ moment to feature in our ongoing #OMGB campaign. We shared the spirit of Wimbledon with people across the world highlighting how the experience was unique to Britain.
Consumers and the tourism industry were encouraged to share their Wimbledon-inspired experiences on social media using hashtag #OMGB and #Wimbledon as well as visiting our Wimbledon campaign page. A consumer competition ran in the USA, China and France to give entrants the chance to win Wimbledon merchandise.
#OMGB (Oh My Giant Britain) - 'Where Giant Dreams come to Life'
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG we showcased to the world what makes Britain a GIANT - and a family-friendly - tourism destination. We launched an international ‘Where Giant Dreams come to Life’ film tourism campaign in our first-ever collaboration with Disney, producer of The BFG. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book by Cardiff-born author Roald Dahl, was filmed at locations across Britain including Blenheim Palace, London, the Isle of Skye and Bamburgh beach in Northumberland. The BFG film launched in the US on 1 July and in the UK on 22 July. The £350,000 six-week digital and social media campaign showcased magical, mysterious and dreamlike moments that can only be experienced on a trip to Britain. The campaign featured a set of exclusive images of giant landmarks in Britain, including the Angel of the North, Big Ben, Isle of Skye and the lions at Trafalgar Square.
These images, and other giant visitor experiences across Britain, were promoted across our online and social media channels adapting our #OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain) to ‘Oh My GIANT Britain.’ The campaign asked people to upload their own images of ‘giant’ experiences and locations in Britain to their own social channels.
Shakespeare Lives - Play Your Part
We partnered with the British Council, Department for International Trade, FCO and the GREAT campaign to promote the destinations behind Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death, through a new campaign Shakespeare Lives - Play Your Part. The campaign celebrated his work and aimed to improve perceptions of the UK as a creative and welcoming nation by inviting the world to participate in a unique online collaboration.
To support the campaign, we promoted Shakespeare-related destinations and locations through our international PR activities including a global press trip that ran in early April for 16 journalists from top press titles and creating a hub for all new and existing tourism content on the Shakespeare destinations. We ran a competition in the US and Spain via our social media channels resulting in 17,256 and 5,603 entries respectively. The prize winners were in Stratford-upon-Avon on the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death to take part in all of the events and celebrations. We also ran a Shakespeare takeover on our consumer social media channels on 23 April live tweeting to showcase the celebrations taking place.