VisitBritain and Google team up to showcase country

VisitBritain has partnered with Google to create a digital visual guide aimed at encouraging visitors to the UK.

The tourism body is to use the search engine’s Street View service, launched in the UK today (March 19), to create the guide that will feature sites in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds and Oxford.

Street View allows users to view panoramic street level photographs of cities across the UK. It was first launched in 2007 and is already available in seven countries ahead of today’s launch in the UK and the Netherlands.

Justin Reid, head of online marketing at Visit Britain says the partnership with Google is part of its digital strategy of using moving imagery and peer to peer influence.

He says it is hoped the visual aid will not only encourage visitors to the country but also help people plan their stays in a “virtual way”. He adds that because people can take friends and family on “a virtual tour” when they return home it could also influence others to visit.

The partnership comes a month after VisitBritain called on the Government to release new funds to help it launch a promotional campaign in Europe and the US, following Office of National Statistics showing a 27% fall in visitors from the US in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Google is also partnering with The London Mayor to showcase the capital’s tourist attractions and Tate, to pinpoint the locations depicted in works of art by Turner and Constable.

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