The UK's national tourism promotion agency, VisitBritain, has launched a major new multi-million-pound international campaign to boost inbound tourism in Britain. A relevant initiative as the country prepares for a year marked by major events.
The Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, just kicked off the campaign at a reception hosted by VisitBritain on February 9 in Dubai. With a budget of £10 million, the "GREAT Britain" marketing campaign is an invitation to visit Britain. The last six months have been heavily impacted by the global pandemic and the territory remains the most affected European area with over 18 million cases reported since March 2020.
VisitBritain estimates that the UK's inbound tourism sector lost more than £48 billion in 2020 and 2021. In addition, falling bookings and cancellations due to Omicron have resulted in an additional loss of £1.5 billion in the first eight weeks of 2022.
With the new health regulations for the territory, it is clear that Britain is opening up to tourism again. VisitBritain CEO Sally Sacombe explains, "We know there is a strong demand for travel. So our priority is to get Britain's destination and tourism revenues back on track as quickly as possible in a highly competitive environment. Our international visitors make a significant contribution to our economy”.
The United Kingdom seems to be banking heavily in 2022 to bring visitors back to the territories. As Sally Lacombe reports, several major international events are planned for 2022: "The year's landmark events, including Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, the Commonwealth Games and the Unboxed Festival events, also offer exciting opportunities to highlight unique experiences and promote our warm welcome and creativity to the world. The hosting of the 2022 Women's Euro Football tournament is also expected to be a big attraction this mid-year.
The VisitBritain campaign is being rolled out in its major European markets including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as its largest travel market, the United States. By leveraging the reach of digital channels in its other markets, VisitBritain hopes to reach an even wider audience. The organization is also working with partners such as British Airways in the U.S. and TripAdvisor in Europe to extend the campaign's reach and drive bookings.
As a reminder, the contribution of inbound tourism to the UK economy amounted to over £28 billion in 2019, placing it as the third-largest service export and representing a significant share of UK foreign trade.