Votes for Travel Bulletin Star Awards now OPEN!

Votes for Travel Bulletin Star Awards now OPEN!

Friday, 29 April 2016 14:11

Agents - c...

Wendy Wu Tours highlights Bhutan visit

Wendy Wu Tours highlights Bhutan visit

Friday, 29 April 2016 11:56

Wendy Wu Tours is promoting two trips where travellers can follow in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal tour to India and Bhutan.

Scenic reaches new South East Asia shores

Scenic reaches new South East Asia shore…

Friday, 29 April 2016 08:30

Scenic has issued its latest South East Asia brochure for intrepid explorers to begin planning their next luxurious adventure featuring a new itinerary.

The Champagne Tour Co. launches child-friendly excursions with 25% saving

The Champagne Tour Co. launches child-fr…

Thursday, 28 April 2016 14:00

With Brits drinking more champagne than any other nation, many parents would love to visit the champagne region themselves to learn more about their favourite tipple, but are reluctant to...

Thailand offers from Premier Holidays

Thailand offers from Premier Holidays

Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:57

Premier Holidays has unveiled a hand-picked selection of new special offers promoting holidays to Thailand as part of a new destination marketing campaign.

Cuba addition from TravelCube

Cuba addition from TravelCube

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:00

TravelCube has put on sale more than 130 hotels in Cuba, including historic Havana, making it easier and more efficient for agents to book trusted, quality accommodation.

RCI unveils multi-day adventures

RCI unveils multi-day adventures

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 08:30

Royal Caribbean International has launched a new Multi-Day Adventures programme, which offers holidaymakers immersive two-day overnight explorations that include more adventure and provide guests with the chance to go further,...

New luxury ski resort in China from Club Med

New luxury ski resort in China from Club…

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 12:00

Club Med has announced the opening of its highly anticipated Chinese ski resort, based in Beidahu, becoming the second of the company’s Chinese ski resorts and its fifth resort in...

European Waterways launches whisky trail cruise

European Waterways launches whisky trail…

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 08:30

European Waterway is offering a range of themed charter cruises, featuring specialised itineraries that allow passengers the chance to experience the history and culture of Europe, including a new Whisky...

EU referendum remains an undecided matter for Advantage members

EU referendum remains an undecided matte…

Monday, 25 April 2016 12:00

With June 23 fast approaching, and the issue over whether Britain should exit or remain part of the EU firmly at the forefront of current political debate, Advantage conducted a...

Virgin Trains opens First Class Lounge at King’s Cross

Virgin Trains opens First Class Lounge a…

Monday, 25 April 2016 10:00

New-look Virgin Trains First Class Lounge has been opened at King’s Cross Station following a stylish makeover.

Explore the heart of Persia with Golden Eagle’s new tour

Explore the heart of Persia with Golden …

Friday, 22 April 2016 12:00

With the lifting of economic sanctions and the FCO relaxing its advice against travel to most parts of the country, Iran is set to be a travel hotspot for 2016.

Intrepid celebrates National Park centenary with new trips

Intrepid celebrates National Park centen…

Friday, 22 April 2016 08:30

Intrepid Travel is marking the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service this year with a collection of new trips that will take travellers deep into the American wilderness.

China Links adds Japan training to agent portal

China Links adds Japan training to agent…

Thursday, 21 April 2016 12:00

China Links Travel, in cooperation with the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), has introduced a new training module to its website for agents to discover more about the destination and...

Montréal to gain new UK flight routes from May

Montréal to gain new UK flight routes fr…

Thursday, 21 April 2016 08:30

Three airlines will be launching new routes from the UK to Montréal from next month.

Discover Egypt offers seven-night package from £1,499

Discover Egypt offers seven-night packag…

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 15:00

Discover Egypt is offering travellers the chance to experience some of the lesser known areas of Egypt, with a seven-night package Lake Nasser and Aswan.

Brand Britain is stepping on the gas. In the run up to next year's double-header of the Olympics and the Queen's jubilee, the country's tourism boards have recently announced a spate of marketing pushes designed to get overseas tourist bookings flooding in. Things kicked off with something of a false start back in August, with a celebrity-fronted campaign by Visit Britain. However, as a direct effect of the recent unrest and rioting that occurred in British cities Visit Britain was led to pull overseas advertising of its new campaign, which featured such national treasures as Dame Judi Dench and Jamie Oliver.

Reacting with admirable speed, Visit Britain stated that they would monitor the tone and extent of media coverage abroad and allow the advertising to return to the overseas market when it feels the situation has calmed. Recent events already appear a little distant and are not expected to recur and but it is still too early to predict the real effect on tourist levels.

Next off the blocks came Visit England - announcing its biggest ever marketing push, which is planned to land next year in conjunction with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and, of course, London 2012 to capitalise on a sense of national pride. It's important of course not to ignore that the reputation of the country can also have been damaged among its own residents, and given the recent growth of the 'staycation', the UK's own residents may need to be given reasons to celebrate and holiday in their own country, as well as overseas audiences.

Taking the bronze on launch is David Cameron's newly announced Great Britain campaign – focused on attracting overseas tourism. Again, this one leverages the celebrity angle to communicate the message of Cool Britannia 2011, employing Henry VIII, Branson, Cambridge, Wallace and Gromit. There's even mention of The Beatles. To my mind, it's a shame that the campaign focuses on such well known overseas British icons rather than the less celebrated tourist attractions which make the country such a vibrant destination. If people already know what you have and choose not to come then telling them again about the same stuff, in self congratulatory mode too, probably won't cut it.

Personally, I'm not convinced that I'm not sure that £500,000 spend will do much when the intention is to bring in four million visitors from across the globe; £500k won't even buy a dozen full pages in major US newspapers. The audience for this is undoubtedly the audience that are disenchanted with the financial situation here in the UK. Judging from comments on the Daily Mail website from readers 'makes you proud to be British' and 'This is a Great campaign! Britain was Great, and still IS.' They may be working – at least on the home front. But to get four million Americans to come to the UK, I remain unconvinced.

Given the country tourism boards are now carrying the torch for Britain both overseas and domestically, it is however critical that all travel brands benefitting directly or indirectly from UK tourism look to boost their investment in marketing now – otherwise cut-through may well be lost in the noise. In particular, this activity needs to show how Britain not only delivers quality service across a range of cultural and entertainment areas but does so at a price that is competitive with the rest of Europe and indeed the world. Any short changing on spend and a reliance on Visit Britain, Visit England or the government itself to save the UK's tourism revenues is both short term and short sighted.

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