UK tourism hoping for global social media shout-out during US President’s visit

Britain as a tourism destination will be in the global social media spotlight with the arrival of US President Barack Obama next week.

Britain as a tourism destination will be in the global social media spotlight with the arrival of US President Barack Obama next week.

President Obama has the highest number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans of any world leader with 73 million followers and 48 million fans respectively.

With this in mind, VisitBritain is putting a call out for the President to tweet during his visit using #OMGB (Oh My Great Britain) - the hashtag at the heart of the organisation’s marketing campaign for 2016 to promote Britain as the ‘Home of Amazing Moments.’

The United States (US) is Britain’s most valuable inbound visitor market. The latest figures show that in the first nine months of 2015 visitors from the US spent £2.3 billion, with visits up 7% to 2.6 million compared to the same period in 2014.

VisitBritain Marketing Director Joss Croft said:
“President Obama’s visit and the accompanying international media exposure is a fantastic opportunity for us to show people that the UK is packed full of amazing experiences that visitors – including the President – can only get here.

“During his last visit in 2014 President Obama went to Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge and, as a world leader, he will have many memorable moments during this trip, including dining with Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle where he also has the chance to see rare Shakespearean folios in the year we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard. We hope he will share these experiences with his millions of social media followers and inspire more people to book a trip to come to the UK and discover their own amazing moments.”

The Home of Amazing Moments campaign launched internationally in February and will be officially launched domestically across the UK next month. It wants to get more people out exploring all its nations and regions to spread the economic benefits of tourism across the whole of the UK.

As well as showcasing amazing experiences across the UK, the digital, TV, print and outdoor marketing campaign also invites people to upload images of their own memorable moments using the hashtag #OMGB, some of which will be shared across VisitBritain’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms. An website also has images, cinemographs and videos that people can share through their own social media channels using #OMGB.

Research by VisitBritain found that 84% of people surveyed in the US had used social media at some stage during their holiday planning while almost 70% said content posted online by friends inspired them to visit a place.

The Home of Amazing Moments campaign is part of the UK Government’s global GREAT Britain campaign, which showcases the very best of what the UK has to offer as a place to visit, study and do business.

Overall 2015 set a new record for inbound tourism to the UK with 35.8 million visits, four per cent up on 2014 and the fifth consecutive year of growth. And figures out just this week show that domestic tourism in England is also up with 103 million overnight trips recorded in 2015, an 11% increase compared to 2014. Domestic tourism spend across England was up 8% compared to 2014, setting a new record with £19.6 billion spent last year.