BTA builds brand marketing team

The British Tourist Authority is setting up a brand management team to market the UK to overseas visitors as a “family of brands”.

The head of the BTA’s Canadian operation, Gareth James, will move back to the UK to become head of brand management.

James will run a four-strong team covering six geographical areas, or “brands”: Wales, Scotland, Northern England, Central England, London and the South.

Each brand manager will work with existing tourist authorities to develop a single image for their area.

BTA chief executive Anthony Sell hopes to build the kind of appeal he believes Scotland has developed. “It has succeeded in creating a country of swirling mists and wild tribesmen in kilts… It attracts a lot of people who would not necessarily have travelled so far.”

The team will also work on promoting specific lifestyle holidays. Walking, antique hunting or visiting historic houses and gardens will be treated as product lines.

The managers are Andrew Vaile, Helen Jones and Ian Woodward. James is also taking over the co-ordination of advertising worldwide following the retirement of former head of ad- vertising John Robinson.

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