Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There stil...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

Exclusive offers to Borneo from Premier

Exclusive offers to Borneo from Premier

Friday, 14 October 2016 09:39

Premier Holidays has unveiled exclusive twin-centre offers to Borneo for 2017, with savings for couples.

 Demand for New Bristol Hotel ahead of its opening

Demand for New Bristol Hotel ahead of i…

Friday, 14 October 2016 09:22

With the highly anticipated opening of the new Bristol Harbour Hotel fast approaching (October 17), Harbour Hotels reports that it has seen ‘a substantial number’ of bookings in advance of...

Omega schedules exclusive packages from LBA

Omega schedules exclusive packages from …

Thursday, 13 October 2016 16:51

A series of exclusive special departures will take to the skies from Leeds Bradford Airport with Omega Holidays next year to offer Northern Lights, Italy, Austria and Croatia departures along...

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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