Memorandum submitted by the British Tourist
1. In this Memorandum we have addressed
the questions posed by the Committee, with particular reference
to inbound tourism to Great Britain. We have also taken the liberty
of assuming that the Committee is already familiar with our role
as a statutory body, charged with the promotion of inbound tourism
to Great Britain, and the way in which we set about this task.
ON 11 SEPTEMBER
Statistics and other factors
2. Britain is one of the world's leading
destinations, but the competition is huge and, in real terms,
the UK's market share of world tourism has been slipping since
the mid-1990s. The profile of our visitors is also shifting. However,
our primary markets remain the USA, France, Germany, Ireland and
3. Between 1995 and 2000, there were a number
of contrasting trends in inbound tourism to the UK. Although volume
and value increased by 7.1 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively,
the number of nights spent by visitors fell by 7.5 per cent. This
means that the average length of stay fell by 13.8 per cent, (or
16,576 nights) and, although tourism receipts increased by 8.9
per cent, this represented a loss of 6 per cent in real terms.
4. According to the WTO, leisure, recreation
and holidays account for some 62 per cent of international trips:
business travel 18 per cent and visiting friends and relatives
(VFR) and other minor categories 20 per cent. Europe only statistics
are broadly in line with these. However, the pattern of inbound
tourism to the UK between 1995 and 2000 was very different: only
37 per cent of visits came into the holiday category whilst 29
per cent were for business purposes. The balance, 32 per cent,
consisted of VFR, study visits and miscellaneous purposes. Whilst
the VFR market is healthy (it increased by 27 per cent in 1995-2000),
study visits fell by 14 per cent, albeit spend was only down by
4 per cent. The underlying trends were that business tourism and
VFR were doing well but holiday and study visits were in decline.
5. The state of the youth marketor
under 25s(which includes most study visits) fell by 10
per cent between 1995 and 2000. Over the same period, visitor
numbers in the 25-35 year old age bracket increased by nine per
cent; 35-54 year olds by 18 per cent and 55-64 year olds by 26
6. This is the background against which
foot and mouth disease (FMD) broke out in March 2001. Despite
predictions that the outbreak would reduce tourism to Britain
by 10-20 per cent, the implementation of BTA's FMD Recovery Programme,
made possible with £14.2 million from the Treasury Reserve,
had helped to reduce the decline in visitor numbers to less that
seven per cent by September 2001.
7. The terrorist attacks of September 11
resulted in an estimated 15 per cent fall in global airline passenger
numbers, with much greater reductions in transatlantic passengers
as Americans reduced overseas travel. In the immediate aftermath,
BTA launched its "UKOK" campaign, designed to re-assure
overseas visitors that Britain was a safe destination. Subsequently,
we led the development and implementation of the unique joint
public/private sector funded "Only In Britain. Only in 2002"
(OiB) campaign which was launched in April 2002. Both of these
campaigns are described in the Annex to this Memorandum.
8. IPS figures from the Office for National
Statistics show that visitor numbers for the period of the OiB
campaign to date (April-August) are up 6.8 per cent and that expenditure
is up 2.6 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2001.
This means that over the first five months of the campaign, there
have been 776,000 additional visitors to the UK, spending an additional
9. Although the IPS figures indicate that
the OiB Campaign has helped the recovery of tourism to Britain
since April, the year-to-date IPS figures for 2002 are not as
encouraging. While total visitor numbers to the end of August
reached 16.7 million, up three per cent (462,000) on 2001, they
were down by 4.1 per cent (714,000) on 2000 figures for the same
period. Of even greater concern is that total inbound tourism
expenditure to date is down two per cent to £7.75 billionsome
£190 million lower than in 2001; and down 10 per cent (£899
million) on 2000.
10. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that
USA travel figures to Britain to July were up on last year by
0.4 per cent. The current status of inbound tourism from America
compares favourably with the recent report written by Donald N.
Martin and Co. Inc. for the European Travel Commission. This stated
"The $10 million "Only in Britain.
Only in 2002" campaign is being watched closely. Britain
is making the greatest effort by far of any European country to
rebuild U.S. traffic through promotion with print and TV advertising.
The early results are encouraging, with the Government reporting
that U.S. visits are down only four per cent through June compared
to 2001 and only 10 per cent compared to 2000, the record year
for U.S. visitors. That's considerably better than our estimate
for the rest of Europe through June at ¸20 per cent or more
compared to 2001.
One important factor: airline capacity has been
reduced less to Britain than to Europe as a whole. Also, the British
promotion builds on the widely publicised Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Taken together, Britain's pro-active response may have saved its
industry as much as 500,000 U.S. visits, $1 billion in spend within
Britain and an additional $500 million for British carriers.
If these estimates are borne out, Britain may
provide a model for action for the rest of Europe in what looks
like a difficult year to come."
11. This report's findings are supported
by figures from American Express (Amex) which show that expenditure
in Britain by overseas visitors using Amex cards is now down by
only eight per cent on last year (this figure is much better than
expenditure by overseas Amex card users visiting other European
countries, which is approximately 15 per cent down on 2001) and
by the fact that the Spanish Government has just reported a 25
per cent drop in visitors from the USA against last year's figures.
12. The main reason for visitor numbers
recovering faster than tourism expenditure is the strong recovery
of the Western European market, which is up six per cent over
the same period last year. This was expected, as intra-European
travellers can travel to the UK by ferry or the Channel Tunnel
and do not have to fly to get here. Also, the continued growth
of budget airlines is making travel to Britain increasingly affordable
from many European countries. However, European visitors have
a lower average length of stay in Britain and spend less per day
than American visitors, meaning that although visitor numbers
are rising, tourism expenditure will continue to struggle until
the American market recovers.
13. This is having a distorted impact on
tourism businesses in Britain. Those businesses that are dependent
on the American market (eg London hotels, especially in the 3-5
star range) will continue to suffer poor yields, while those that
rely on the European market will start to see stronger returns
as visitor numbers return to normal.
14. BTA forecasts that total inbound tourism
revenue for 2002 will increase by six per cent to £12.0 billion.
This forecast is based on the pattern of recovery for 11 September
being similar to that experienced after the Gulf War (ie it will
take two to three years for revenue to reach pre-2001 levels)
but, while this six per cent increase would represent a significant
recovery, it would still mean that Britain's tourism earnings
were £800 million less than in 2000.
15. As the success of the industry is so
subject to external influence, BTA has not yet made any forecasts
for 2003-04. The ongoing "war against terrorism" and
the threat of military action against Iraq mean that there is
a significant possibility of events occurring that could undermine
the confidence of people to travel. However, research undertaken
by BTA as part of the OiB campaign, among people who had recently
visited or intended to visit Britain in the near future, showed
a very strong latent desire for travel to Britain; 35 per cent
of French, 24 per cent of German and 18 per cent of American respondents
stated that they were either "very likely" or "likely"
to visit Britain in 2002. Respondents from all countries showed
a very high desire to visit Britain within the next three years,
with 70 per cent stating that this was either "very likely"
16. Disasters aside, the single largest
external influence on inbound tourism is undoubtedly the exchange
rate of sterling. Because of the strength of the pound, especially
in Europe, Britain is viewed as an expensive destination and one
of the main thrusts of our marketing activities in recent years
has been to try to combat this by concentrating on value for money
products and special offers. (As noted in the Annex to this paper,
special offers have played key parts in our UKOK and OiB campaigns.)
17. Adverse changes in the exchange rateie
the pound becoming strongerhave a significant effect on
inbound tourism earnings. Not only do visitors experience higher
prices, leading to a "price effect" on visitor numbers
and on their spending patterns, but their expenditure is further
diminished in value when converted into sterling. Last year, in
order to understand how influential recent changes in exchange
rates have been, BTA commissioned Caledonian Economics to explore
the subject using econometric modelling techniques. The key findings
recorded in the report The Price Sensitivity of Tourism to Britain
Every one per cent decrease in the
exchange rate will increase the UK's tourism earnings by 1.3 per
cent (£160 million) per annum and create around 4,700 jobs
and vice versa; and
Every one per cent increase in visitors'
incomes will increase the UK's tourism earnings by 0.6 per cent
(£70 million) per annum and create over 2,000 full time jobs
and vice versa.
18. We cannot do anything to combat directly
the effects of the exchange rate but we can ensure that we are
increasingly sophisticated in the way we go about attracting visitors
and in attempting to re-grow our share of the holiday and study
markets. How we are going to set about doing this is described
in the next section.
BTA TO SECURE
19. We have been reviewing our strategy
and corporate structure to maximise our effectiveness and ensure
that we are taking the needs of our stakeholderswith whom
we have been consultingfully into account. We are due to
announce the outputs on 28 October. As part of this strategic
review, we will also be establishing further robust and measurable
key performance indicators and key success factorswhich
we will review every six monthsto measure our progress
and ensure that we are fully accountable. These measures will
be additional to the targets in our Funding Agreement from DCMS.
20. During the review process, a number
of fundamental issues have emerged:
The increasing discernment and sophistication
of the world's consumers, who are better informed about destinations
and products, often through web browsing, coupled to the extensive
proliferation of new and high quality destinations;
The ongoing re-structure in tourism
information distribution to the Internet, with broadband and digital
TV following quickly;
The growing aspirations of the devolved
countries and regions of Britain to develop their own more unique
brand identity and product offering;
The weakness in Britain's current
position in certain market sectors, exacerbated by FMD, September
11 and the strong pound;
The budget airlines are transforming
the dynamics of the inbound and outbound European short breaks
21. The strategies we have formulated to
address these issues fall into four main areas: branding, marketing,
stakeholder relationships, and organisation. The key points are
22. We are working with the national tourist
boards (the English Tourism Council, the Wales Tourist Board and
VisitScotland, and also with the London Tourist Board and other
regional tourist boards in England) to develop a new brand architecture
for Britain that can stand on its own or be combined with one
or more of the four main British brandsEngland, Scotland,
Wales and Londonor lead on one of the four main brands.
External consultants have been appointed with a brief to clarify
the role of Britain in relation to the individual brands and to
take a fresh look at how we should be positioned in relation to
competitor destinations overseas. The results will be available
at the beginning of 2003, after which we will agree guidelines
with the national tourist boards covering the inter-relationship
between all of the brands, before introducing the revised architecture.
23. Our branding and product development
work will be customer centric, based on understanding of our consumer
segments, and of their lifestyles and the stage that they are
at in life, with a recognition that some consumers have different
needs and look for different products relative to the occasion,
eg business trip, golf holidays, family breaks, couples relaxing.
24. BTA's current portfolio of "products"
will continue to focus on those that we know to be most effective
in selling Britainculture, history and heritage, country
and coast, and sportbut more niche products will be developed
within these in response to our more sophisticated understanding
of our customers. We will also be building a campaign around the
British entrants for the European City of Culture 2008.
25. A strongly branded destination campaign
will be developed to stimulate consumer demand for Britain in
major markets in 2003-04. The campaign will be created centrally
in our London office, but implemented locally on territory to
complement other local marketing activities. It will offer a "menu"
of partnership opportunities for trade partners, large and small,
and build on the success of the OiB campaign.
26. Customer contact centres of excellence
will be established, directed out of key "hubs" around
the world, offering greater integration of e-mail, web, walk-in
and telephone services to customers. We will also increase our
data capture techniques with the aim of expanding our qualified
contact database almost four-fold by 2006, to help further personalise
customer communication and expand customer knowledge.
27. Modern content management systems will
be used to improve the speed, timeliness, depth and breadth of
product knowledge on our award winning website, www.visitbritain.com,
and other digital media, and facilitate personalisation of content
to customers. New VisitBritain gateway websites will then be launched
in all key markets and languages, providing itinerary planning
and "personal brochure" facilities and offering best
possible integration with third party online booking systems.
28. We will increase the resource devoted
to business tourism to fully exploit the potential of this fast
growing sector and the relationship between the holiday and VFR
sectors will be redefined, with new strategies and resources put
in place to improve Britain's performance in the holiday and youth
and student sectors.
29. BTA's presence will be extended into
potential markets such as China, Russia, Poland, Malaysia and
Korea with the emphasis on utilising new media and on developing
trade and PR networks, via the new overseas hubs, in order to
keep infrastructure costs to a minimum.
30. We are also going to strive to develop
partnerships with other non-tourism partners, sectors and brands
to acquire potential new customers and increase our market penetration
31. In partnership with the national and
regional tourist boards, BTA will investigate the presentation
and communication to the British trade of market intelligence
on trends and overseas visitors' needs.
32. Relationships with the national trade
associations will also be strengthened and we will increase our
efforts to agree on key issues and messages to Government and
33. Consortia-based marketing will be encouraged
and supported, whether by region/destination, product or sector,
to facilitate export partnerships with industry.
34. Finally, we will be re-organising our
overseas office structure to create a "hub and spoke"
system which will ensure the organisation is both market and customer
centric. The exact number and location of the hub offices is yet
to be decided but the rationale is to create centres of excellence
through which examples of best practice can be spread. Each hub
will replicate the specialist skills found in our London HQ and
be staffed with specialists in key areas such as consumer marketing,
market intelligence and business tourism.
35. Our aim is to have all of these measures
in placeor to have set them in trainby April 2003.
36. We find it difficult to foresee a time
when there will no longer be a need for some degree of government
support, which, we think, falls into two categories. Firstly,
only Government can provide the overall environmentin terms
of physical infrastructure and legislative regimeneeded
to support a successful tourism industry. Secondly, government
intervention, via the UK national tourist board structure, is
still needed to correct the failure of the market to deliver comprehensive,
impartial and authoritative information and to provide a route
to the overseas market for SMEs.
37. The tourism industry is highly dependent
on the public services and infrastructure that Government and
its private sector partners provide. These range from the provision
of sufficient airport capacity, and attendant services such as
the issue of visas and immigration facilities, the provision and
maintenance of the public transport facilities, and road networks
on which visitors depend, to the running and upkeep of public
buildings and major museums and art galleries, many of which are
among the icons that play a part in attracting visitors here.
Without these services and facilities, particularly the transport
infrastructure, the industry would grind to a halt.
38. However, it is not enough merely to
provide these things in fragmented fashion. Many government departments
and agencies are still not sufficiently aware of the needs of
the tourism industry, and also of the need to consider the impact
of proposed legislation on the industry. The events of last year
placed tourism at the top of the agenda and powerfully highlighted
the value of tourism to the economy and the inter-dependence of
other industry sectors on tourism, especially in rural areas.
This momentum needs to be built on. There is still a vital role
for a government department, such as Culture, Media and Sport
(DCMS), to act as a champion for the industry and as a link between
other government departments to ensure that Government policy
in relation to tourism is consistently applied and implemented.
39. The Development of Tourism Act recognised
that BTA, in common with the other national tourist boards, should
have a strong role to play in advising and briefing ministers,
especially at DCMS, and public bodies on issues affecting inbound
tourism to Great Britain. As competition in the global marketplace
intensifies, so the need for Government to make full use of the
tourist boards as independent sources of advice and expertise
40. More importantly, BTA and the other
national tourist boards are still the primary vehicles through
which the UK Governments address the market failures of the tourism
industry. Successive quinquennial reviewsmost recently
BTA's ownhave confirmed that there is still market failure
in the areas of information provision and marketing of SMEs, to
a degree that justifies and requires government intervention.
41. The larger players in the industry,
from hotel groups to carriers, are more than able to undertake
their own marketing activities without BTA's help. However, this
is not true of the SMEs (with a turnover of £250,000 or less)
which represent 77 per cent of the 127,800 VAT registered tourism
related businesses in Britain. They cannot afford to market themselves
independently nor do they have the expertise to do so. They are
dependent on BTA to provide them with a route to market.
42. There is also a need to market Britain
and its constituent countries as a destination because no business,
large or small, will undertake this initial promotion. Although
the unprecedented events of last year did lead to the industry
coming togetherand subsuming individual interests for the
good of the wholein the OiB campaign, we do not think it
likely that this would have happened without government intervention,
especially through the provision of matching funding.
43. The other area of market failure is
in information provision. Potential visitors want comprehensive,
impartial, authoritative information about the countries and regions
of Britain and its tourism products and services. Because of its
fragmented nature and the fact that businesses in the industry
are obviously interested only in marketing their own products,
not those of their competitors, there remains a need for BTA and
the national tourist boards to gather and provide this information.
44. As will be apparent from the above,
we think that government is, by and large, playing the right role.
On the infrastructure side, the urgent needs are to speed up and
simplify the planning process, and the question of how to increase
our airport capacity needs to be settled, both of which issues
the Government is addressing. However, our main concern is the
fear that, despite last year's events and the dedication of the
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Minister
for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting, and their officials, who have
been extremely supportive and vocal on behalf of the industry,
there is still not sufficient recognition across Whitehall that
so many government activities impact on tourism.
45. On the market failure side, our greatest
concern for several years has been the lack of a single supplier
of destination marketing material for England. Whereas we work
with VisitScotland and the Wales Tourist Board on marketing material
and campaigns to promote their countries, we have been unable
to do the same with the English Tourism Council since funding
for its marketing role was suspended completely in 1999. Since
then, we have been working directly with the regional tourist
boards in England but it is not within their individual remits
to market the country overall, only their own regions. However,
as the Committee has recognised in the past, there is a place
for marketing England as a whole and we welcome DCMS's pledge
to restore ETC's marketing role. It will certainly make our job
easier. (The fact that ETC would not, unless the Development of
Tourism Act is amended, have overseas marketing powers need not
be a problem as the Act already empowers them to undertake overseas
activity on BTA's behalf.)
46. Given the complexity of the relationships,
we think that arrangements are working fairly well post devolution
but, from where BTA sits as a cross border public authority, there
are inevitable difficulties.
47. Whilst tourism is a devolved matter,
as a Britain-wide body BTA remains in the DCMS portfolio. At top
level the relationships between DCMS and the Scottish Executive
and Welsh Assembly, in relation to the promotion of Britain overseas,
are governed by Concordats; and DCMS meets and consults regularly
with the Devolved Administrations, especially in relation to our
Funding Agreement and the appointment of our Chairman and Board
Members. At the next level down, BTA has entered into Overseas
Marketing Agreements with VisitScotland, the Wales Tourist Board
and the London Tourist Board which set out the principles that
underpin the way in which we work together to promote the main
brands in the Britain portfolio; we are in the process of entering
into a similar agreement with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
48. However, the Devolved Administrations
are quite properly concerned to grow their individual shares of
inbound tourism to Great Britain and to satisfy themselves that
BTA is doing its best for them, given that we have three countries
to promote overall. We have had to put a great deal of effort,
together with our colleague national tourist boards, into explaining
our working relationships and our collective belief that the current
structure does deliver best value, and also why there is a place
for each country to be marketed as part of the Great Britain mix
as well as individually. We believe that, in overall terms, the
Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly think that we are doing
a reasonable job but this is by no means a given.
49. At present, each country has set its
own targets relating to inbound tourism and, in some cases, they
conflict, placing BTA in a somewhat difficult position. We would
welcome more discussion at governmental level when individual
country strategies and targets are set, and would view this as
a natural extension to the discussions that take place surrounding
our Funding Agreement targets.
50. Devolution has also widened the gap
between the amount of grant-in-aid available to the English Tourism
Council, compared to VisitScotland and the Wales Tourist Board.
Grant-in-aid figures for 2001-02 were: ETC £11.6 million;
VS around £40 million and WTB £20 million.
51. There is an apparent inconsistency in
the fact that funding for ETC is so low in comparison to its sister
countries, especially when some of the English regions, such as
the West Country and the North East, are so dependent on tourism
for economic growth and as an urban regenerator.
52. As already discussed, tourism to Britain
is not helped by the falling cost of international travel, increasing
global competition as new destinations open up, and the strength
of sterling against the euro. To remain competitive, it is essential
that the industry develops the products that the customer wants
and offers value for money with commensurate standards of quality
and service. These are both areas in which the national tourist
boards have a pivotal role to play in terms of advising and encouraging
53. In particular, we are concerned about
the relatively low take up of the national quality assurance standards
in England which stands at only 38 per cent of known accommodation
stock, partly perhaps due to a lack of promotional funding. The
fact that each national tourist board operates a slightly different
scheme is not only confusing to visitors, it also hinders attempts
to encourage a level of take up to the point where critical mass
is reached and accommodation providers perceive themselves at
a real marketing disadvantage if they remain outside the scheme.
For these reasons we wholeheartedly support the renewed discussions,
that the national boards are now engaging in, to explore once
more the possibility of a single Great Britain wide scheme.
54. In conclusion, providing that the industry
is not hit by another disaster on the scale of FMD or September
11, we are quietly optimistic about the future prospects for inbound
tourism to Britain. Certainly, the signs are that we are recovering
at a faster pace than the rest of Europethanks in great
part to the additional funding from government and the response
of the industryand this is a good base from which BTA can
continue to grow inbound tourism through the implementation of
our revised strategy.
ONLY IN BRITAIN. ONLY IN 2002.
1. BTA recognised immediately the devastating
impact that the Foot and Mouth outbreak would have on travel to
Britain. In response, a comprehensive PR programme was launched
to minimise negative coverage and provide reassurance. One of
the highlights, in April 2001, was the highly successful "World
Travel Leaders' Summit" to show major players in the international
tourism industry that Britain was still open for business.
2. In May 2001, the Government responded
to our concerns by allocating £14.2 million from the Treasury
Reserve for BTA to undertake a full Foot and Mouth Recovery Programme.
This was topped up with £2.1 million re-deployed from BTA's
core grant-in-aid, bringing the total funding available to £16.3
million. This was used to undertake more than 300 marketing initiatives
in the ten most affected markets: the USA, Canada, Ireland, France,
Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and
3. By September 2001, International Passenger
Survey (IPS) figures showed that visitor numbers from North America
and Western Europe had improved and were, respectively, down only
six per cent and seven per cent on 2000.
4. However, September 11 caused an estimated
global fall in airline passenger numbers of 15 per cent. On transatlantic
flights the reduction was even greater, with BA reporting a 32
per cent fall in revenue.
5. BTA's first action was to set up the
Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) Group, involving the
national tourist boards and key industry partners, to assess the
impact of the attacks, agree on communications and marketing responses
and to advise the Government on tourism implications.
6. Whereas the aim of the Foot and Mouth
Recovery Programme had been to rebuild Britain's image as a tourism
destination, the fundamental problem facing tourism destinations
worldwide after September 11 was convincing people to continue
7. To meet this challenge and provide Britain
with a strong image in the global marketplace so that it could
be "heard" over other destinations, BTA developed a
single global campaign using £5 million of re-allocated funding.
This campaign, "UKOK", aimed to re-assure overseas visitors
that Britain was a safe destination. A key component of UKOK was
persuading British residents to invite their friends and relatives
to Britain in 2002. Over 200,000 invitation packs were produced,
specifically tailored for English, Scottish and Welsh residents
to send overseas.
8. Together with tourism industry leaders,
and supported fully by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media
and Sport, the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting and
their officials, BTA made representations to the Treasury to provide
funding to undertake a concerted campaign in Britain's seven key
markets the USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Belgium, the
Netherlands and Germanyto prevent a dramatic reduction
in inbound tourism and build a sustainable recovery for the future.
9. On 18 February 2002, the Government announced
a unique partnership with the tourism industry to fund the "Only
in Britain. Only in 2002" (OiB) campaign. It committed to
match fund up to £20 million of industry contributions for
a TV led multi-media campaign.
10. Together with 31 partner organisations,
BTA formed a Partners' Council to oversee the development and
implementation of the OiB campaign.
11. A steering group, consisting of a range
of industry representatives, was then established to assist in
the detailed development and implementation of the campaign. Members
of the group worked closely with BTA to ensure optimum output
in the areas of creative development, web page development, media
planning and tactical promotions.
12. The goals of Only in Britain. Only in
To recover as much business from
Britain's main markets as soon as possible, with a target of one
million visitors and £500 million additional spend in 2002;
To develop a sustainable recovery
that benefits the whole of Britain;
To drive business to the British
13. The campaign aims to share the benefits
throughout the travel industry: from hoteliers to car hire companies,
to airlines, ferry companies, tourist attractions and publicans.
The generation of an additional £500 million will support
around 15,000 full time jobs and provide £65 million in additional
funds for the Exchequer in VAT and APD alone.
14. One of the first steps was to confirm
the creative approach that the campaign should take. Research
revealed that a strong emotional appeal was necessary in North
America, whereas a more rational approach was needed to overcome
price resistance in Europe. A TV image-led campaign overall was
agreed, with a heavy tactical focus on solid "value-for-money"
offers. It was felt that image should play an important role in
the North American campaign, with tactical activity featuring
more strongly in Europe.
15. The core OiB campaign is a £24
million TV-led advertising campaign, backed by radio and print
advertisements, PR, direct marketing, internet and travel trade
communications. The campaign includes a powerful call for customers
to visit a website landing page, where they can find exciting,
great value offers.
16. This is complemented by over £15
million worth of collateral marketing by industry partners, involving
special discounts and promotions for their services, as well as
marketing under the campaign banner. A further £1 million
is being spent through the English Tourism Council on welcoming
visitors once they arrive in Britain and encouraging them to explore
more of Britain and extend their stay.
17. The theme of the campaign is an invitation
from British people to visit Britain in 2002. The campaign focuses
on Britain's unique blend of heritage, countryside and culture
and the widely appreciated quirkiness and sense of humour of British
18. To achieve maximum impact and awareness,
the main period for implementing the campaign took place during
May and June. This is being followed by a "tail" of
activity from August to December to sustain demand.
19. The campaign targets Britain's seven
key markets: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands
and the USA. These markets represent over 50 per cent of tourist
arrivals and 45 per cent of tourist expenditure.
20. Within these markets, two market segments
were selected as those most likely to travel to Britain in 2002:
Empty Nesters (EN) and Double Income No Kids (DINKS). These segments
show the greatest potential in terms of volume, spend per visit,
affinity, ability and willingness to travel. They also demonstrate
a relatively high propensity to travel around Britain and to visit
during the autumn period. As a further refinement, the campaign
focuses on individuals in these segments who have already visited
21. In order to meet the Government's requirement
for support from the private sector, BTA canvassed companies of
every size from all sectors of the British tourism industry with
the aim of maximising inclusivity and touching non-traditional
22. As a result of these efforts, a total
of 22 commercial companies, two industry associations and five
tourist boards (excluding the BTA) responded. Together with the
Department for Culture, Media & Sport there are 31 partners
involved in the campaign:
|Accor UK||American Express
|Best Western Hotels||bmi british midland
|British Airways||British Hospitality Association
|BTA||Department for Culture, Media & Sport
|De Vere Group||DFDS Seaways
|English Tourism Council||Heart of England Tourist Board
|Hilton Hotels||Jarvis Hotels
|London Tourist Board & Convention Bureau
||Millennium Copthorne Hotels|
|National Express Group||Passenger Shipping Association
|P&O||Queens Moat House
|Radisson Edwardian||Red Carnation Hotels
|Stena Line||Thistle Hotels
|VisitScotland||Wales Tourist Board
23. In addition, the campaign has been joined by thousands
of small businesses who, while unable to contribute cash amounts,
have between them offered 3,700 special value deals for overseas
visitors, which are included in the campaign website database.
24. By June partner contributions had reached a level
comfortably above that required to receive the full £20 million
in match funding from the Government. Cash contributions have
now passed the £5 million requirement by £0.4 million,
while collateral contributions have exceeded the £15 million
requirement by £5.3 million.
25. In order to ensure that Partners receive a return
from the campaign commensurate with their cash investment, BTA
has been careful to allocate partner exposure in proportion to
their financial contribution. For example, the level of investment
has determined the degree of exposure on, and linkage from, the
26. Only in Britain. Only in 2002 employs a mix of TV,
print, radio and web advertising, plus extensive PR and carefully
focused direct marketing to stimulate interest in Britain as a
27. Two ads were produced, (45 and 15 seconds) showing
traditional images of Britain in an unusual and humorous manner
that reflect the motivators for visiting. Viewers saw Wellington
boots raining down on a black cab, knights in armour playing tennis,
and ordinary Britons inviting them to visit against backdrops
that included Trafalgar Square, Castle Howard, Skye, Welsh landscapes
and Buckingham Palace.
28. In order to capitalise on the special relationship
between the US and Britain, particularly since September 11, the
US ads also featured a personal welcome from Tony Blair.
29. Subtitles have been used for foreign language markets
for the main body of the advertisements, with the final call to
action made in the local language.
30. As the most powerful and immediate method of gaining
consumer attention, TV advertising was been used in all seven
markets and we ensured that advertisements were shown during British
related events, such as Jubilee programming in Canada and during
Wimbledon coverage in the USA.
31. A PR programme was developed to create awareness
of Only in Britain. Only in 2002 throughout trade and opinion
formers in the UK and all seven international markets. The objectives
were to create positive coverage for Britain in the international
trade and consumer media in the run up to the launch of the TV
advertising and to generate awareness of Partner offers and specific
key messages in international media.
32. A direct marketing component of the campaign has
been developed to bring tactical offers into the homes of key
target customers using a database comprising the names of individuals
who have contacted BTA for information about Britain, plus the
names of Amex clients who have used their card on a trip to Britain
during the last two years. A total of some one million names in
the seven markets have been identified for inclusion.
33. The role of print advertising is to present tactical
offers to the campaign's selected audiences, which in turn will
drive traffic to the website where further offers and information
can be obtained by customers.
34. France, Ireland and the Netherlands were selected
for radio advertising on the basis of the known effectiveness
of the medium in these markets. Simple, gently humorous local
language advertisements, using an actor with an English accent
were used to attract attention and direct listeners to visit the
35. As the fulfilment mechanism for the Only in Britain.
Only in 2002 campaign, the specific aims of the website are:
To acquire 100,000 website registrations by November
To drive 50 per cent of all visits from the OnlyinBritain
website to the 29 partner sites;
To deliver 10 per cent repeat visits from existing
36. The website consists of different landing pages and
domain addresses for each of the seven markets (with two sites
for Belgium: Flemish and French). Sites are in English, Flemish,
French, German and Dutch. It provides links to major funding partners'
own websites and includes a database of special offers from other
partners and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Competitions,
e-postcards and video streaming of TV advertisements complement
the information content.
37. A customer relationship management programme supports
the offline campaign through welcome e-mails, weekly special offers,
e-mails and bi-monthly competition alert e-mails.
38. In order to fulfil the key aim of the campaign of
driving business to the tourism industry throughout Britain, special
offers were solicited from SMEs to support the website. In excess
of 3,000 special offers were obtained within the first three months
of the campaign and the total has since reached 3,700. Approximately
25 per cent of these offers were discounts of at least 50 per
39. This database has proved very popular with over 377,000
click-throughs and, as most of the offers are from SMEs, it is
playing a significant role in promoting regional spread.
40. Trade communications were needed in both the UK and
in all seven markets. The UK trade received information from BTA
through trade press releases, letters and information placed on
the BTA's Tourism Industry Professionals Site (TIPS).
41. Within the seven key markets, BTA's overseas offices
contacted the local travel trade through e-mails and faxes and
provided detailed briefings. A modest amount of trade advertising
was also placed in the US. All the trade magazines in each market
have been fully informed and have featured in the campaign. BTA
also promoted the campaign in its Inbound newsletter. All participating
partners have been involved in communicating with the trade.
42. Given the key role of the travel trade in creating
business, travel agents have been kept fully informed at all stages
of the campaign. This is an important aspect of the tactical advertising,
as the call to action for readers has not only been to log on
to the campaign website, but also to contact their local travel
43. The OiB campaign has now been operating for six months.
In that period over 80 per cent of the £18.8m media budget
has been spent on TV, radio and print advertising, PR and direct
44. A tracking study of the impact of the campaign on
people who had recently visited, or intended to visit Britain
in the near future, in the USA, Germany and France, showed that
people enjoyed watching the ad and that it caught their attention.
It was seen as different from other holiday advertising and the
main message that viewers gained was that there is a lot to see
outside London, which should help to stimulate regional spread.
45. Those interviewed as part of the study (among people
who had recently visited Britain or intended to visit) also found
the ad highly motivational, with 41 per cent of respondents who
had seen the ad seeking other information on Britain. Of these,
24 per cent visited the OiB websites, 17 per cent contacted a
travel agent and 59 per cent sought information elsewhere.
46. The positive response to the ad in overseas markets
has been reflected in the high number of unique visitors to the
OiB websites. As of 1 October 2002, the campaign had driven 840,000
unique visitors to the OiB websites. Total partner click-throughs
stood at 878,000, of which 669,000 were to commercial partners'
sites and 209,000 were to tourist board sites.
47. The majority of visitors to the websites were from
the USA (378,000), with Germany and the Netherlands providing
the largest numbers of unique visitors from the European markets
(114,000 and 107,000 respectively).
10 October 2002