VisitBritain launches multi-million pound global campaign

National tourism agency VisitBritain has today launched a new multi-million pound global campaign to drive back inbound tourism, as Britain gears up for a year of landmark events

The £10 million international GREAT Britain marketing campaign ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain’ was formally launched by The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) at a VisitBritain reception on 9 February in Dubai, UAE. The event, hosted by British Tourist Authority chair Dame Judith Macgregor and including top travel trade and tourism industry representatives from the GCC and India, was in support of the wider programme for UK National Day at Expo Dubai.

VisitBritain’s international campaign is putting the spotlight on Britain’s cities, hit hard by the absence of international visitors, as well as on messages of welcome and reassurance. It is also capturing the major events this year, set to be global tourism draws, including HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and ‘Unboxed,’ the UK-wide celebration of creativity.

UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries said:

This brilliant campaign will highlight the best of the UK to the world and show that we are open and ready to welcome back international visitors.

2022 is a fantastic time to visit thanks to major events including Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Women’s Euros, Rugby League World Cup and UNBOXED.

VisitBritain CEO Sally Balcombe said:

We know there is pent-up demand for travel and our priority is to build back demand for Britain and visitor spending as quickly as possible, competing hard for international visitors who contribute billions to our economy.

As well as messages of welcome and reassurance, we’re shining the spotlight on our vibrant and diverse cities. Telling the stories of our renowned heritage and iconic city attractions with a modern twist, our buzzing contemporary culture and innovative food and drink scene, we are showing that Britain is bursting full of fresh and exciting experiences to come and enjoy right now.

This year’s landmark events including HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Commonwealth Games and the ground-breaking ‘Unboxed’ events across the UK, also present exciting and timely opportunities to highlight once-in-a-lifetime experiences that visitors can only have here, and to promote our warm welcome and creativity to the world.

VisitBritain’s international advertising campaign kicks off this week with a mix of short films and branded city-focused content across social media channels, digital display advertising and print media. Content will also drive online ‘traffic’ to with ideas and links to city activities, city visitor attractions and experiences highlighting ‘another side of Britain’ using #lovegreatbritain – from rooftop afternoon tea in Liverpool to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from sailing in a hot tub down the Thames in London to gin tasting at Cardiff Distillery.

The paid campaign is running across the UK’s major European short-haul markets including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, and the United States, its most valuable inbound visitor market. Activity is also underway across all VisitBritain’s international markets using the extensive reach of its global and in-country digital channels, both business and consumer and working with the travel trade in market.

VisitBritain is also working with partners including British Airways in the USA and TripAdvisor in Europe to extend the campaign’s reach and drive bookings.

VisitBritain is also calling for tourism businesses, visitor attractions and destinations across Britain to get involved, with a free toolkit of marketing and branded campaign assets available to download from VisitBritain’s website.

To drive back spending, the campaign is targeting visitors that VisitBritain’s consumer research shows have the greatest commitment and intent to travel internationally in 2022. More than half of travellers VisitBritain surveyed across 13 markets, who intended taking an international trip in the next 12 months had not yet booked or decided where to go, creating valuable opportunities to influence destination-choice and bookings.

VisitBritain has estimated the loss in overseas visitor spending in the UK, in 2020 and 2021 combined, to be more than £48 billion. In addition, it calculates that the fall in bookings and cancellations due to Omicron saw an additional loss of £1.5 billion in inbound tourism spending in the UK in the first eight weeks alone.

VisitBritain’s ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain’ campaign, running until the end of March, is part of the UK Government’s refreshed GREAT campaign.

Inbound tourism was worth more than £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019, its third largest service export and a major part of British trade.

Correct as of 08 February 2022