UK tourism hoping for international boost as world’s media turns its spotlight on Britain this week

Britain as a tourist destination will be in the global media spotlight in the coming days with Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, the arrival of US President Barack Obama, and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and VisitBritain is hoping for a boost in visitor numbers with these milestone events and their chance to showcase the best of ‘destination’ Britain to the world.

VisitBritain Marketing Director Joss Croft said: 

“As the world’s media turns its attention to these significant events and to some of our most iconic sites including Windsor Castle, where President Obama will dine with Her Majesty The Queen and Stratford-upon-Avon as we mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard,  we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to showcase Britain as truly the ‘home of amazing moments’ with experiences that visitors – including the President –can only get here.”

VisitBritain is putting a call out for President Obama 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’. President Obama has the highest number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans of any world leader with more than 73 million followers and 48 million fans respectively.

The United States (US) is Britain’s most valuable inbound visitor market with visitors spending about £2.9 billion a year and the number of visits showing strong growth in 2015.

Inbound tourism could also expect a boost in visitor numbers as the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare, hailed as the UK’s greatest cultural export, is used to promote the best of UK culture globally with concerts, plays, exhibitions and other celebrations underway throughout the year, making it a great time for visitors to come and explore the home of one of the world’s greatest playwrights.

Latest figures from VisitBritain show that inbound visits to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, are growing with overnight visitor numbers more than doubling in the four years from 2010 to 2014 from 70,000 to 144,000 visits respectively.

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.