National tourism agency VisitBritain has this week started rolling out its new multi-million-pound international campaign for 2023 to drive tourism to Britain.
The international GREAT Britain marketing campaign invites visitors to ‘See Things Differently’, showcasing Britain as a dynamic, diverse, and exciting destination, packed full of activities to come and enjoy now, with a warm British welcome at its heart.
The first phase of the 2023 campaign, with a budget of £9.8 million, gets underway this week and runs until early spring focused on markets where VisitBritain is seeing strong recovery including the USA, its largest and most valuable market, Canada, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and European markets including France, Germany and Spain.
In Europe and the GCC, the ‘See Things Differently’ advertising campaign – ‘Spilling the Tea on Great Britain’ – uses a play on Britain’s love of tea, through destination images and short films (see launch film here) to tell a fresh and exciting story about the experiences on offer, showing visitors that ‘whatever your cup of tea, we’ve got it.’
From a ‘Festival’ tea theme that gives a taste of Britain’s live music scene to a ‘Graffi-tea’ that celebrates its vibrant cities and cultural attractions. A ‘Surf’ theme shows the adventurous side of Britain and ‘#nofilter’ its natural beauty. A ‘Monster Hunting’ tea draws inspiration from myths and legends including the world-famous Nessie the Loch Ness Monster. A limited release of the themed teas, blended by British tea company Tregothnan, will also be available for tastings at VisitBritain promotional and trade events.
In Canada and the USA the campaign, called ‘Fake (Br)it Till You Make It’ highlights the richness of Britain’s regional diversity. The phased advertising campaign gets underway with a variety of local phrases alongside destination images from across Britain. Later in March, a series of short films see Brits sharing a warm welcome in local accents and dialects promoting their destinations and encouraging visitors to come and explore for themselves. Also in late March, a new online game on VisitBritain’s consumer website, using machine learning, goes live where players can have a fun go at mastering the accents with links to destination information to drive bookings.
VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said:
“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and that tourism is also a fiercely competitive global industry. Our priority is to build on the recovery we have seen, competing hard in markets where we are seeing strong growth, tapping into motivations for travel now to drive bookings.
“All eyes are on Britain this year and by telling the story of our dynamic destinations and diverse culture, along with a warm British welcome, we’re inspiring visitors to discover more, stay longer, and explore year-round, supporting local businesses and economies.”
The campaigns also plan to capture major events in 2023 including the Coronation of King Charles III in May and Liverpool hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, on behalf of Ukraine, also in May, valuable opportunities to show Britain’s welcome, creativity and ability to host events of the highest caliber.
The campaigns have been developed based on VisitBritain’s research into motivations for travel now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences and markets.
Both multi-media marketing campaigns are using a mix of on-and-offline channels including short films and branded content across social media, digital display advertising, for example, digital billboards in the Paris Metro, and print media. Content also drives online traffic to VisitBritain’s consumer website with ideas and links to activities, attractions and experiences themed around ‘See Things Differently’ using #lovegreatbritain.
VisitBritain is working with partners including Lastminute.com in Europe and online travel marketplace Wego in the GCC as well as paid content partnerships to extend the campaigns’ reach and drive bookings.
It has also called for tourism businesses, attractions and destinations to get involved by sharing local experiences that promote a different side of Britain across their own channels using #lovegreatbritain.
Separate campaigns are also set to run in the USA to harness the growth from this market, with visitor spending by Americans up 40% in 2019 based on the latest statistics. A campaign is launching in March in the USA with British Airways as well as a test pilot of a cooperative marketing program with industry to drive bookings. Marketing activity is also underway through VisitBritain’s GREAT Gateway Innovation Fund to boost visits through regional gateways.
VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast shows a continued strong recovery in overseas visitor spending this year. Its latest forecast for 2023 is for overseas visitor spending in the UK of £29.5 billion, up 4% on the all-time spending high of £28.4 billion in 2019. It estimates 35.1 million inbound visits to the UK, 86% of 2019 levels.