VisitBritain signs up sports legends

VisitBritain has signed up three sporting champions to promote Britain overseas in its latest series of celebrity videos.

boris becker

Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, world heavyweight boxing champion title holder Lennox Lewis and Ryder Cup winning captain Colin Montgomerie have all produced a personal film about what makes Britain special for them.

The films mark the last phase of the national tourism agency’s global GREAT campaign, which has the aim of attracting an extra 4.6m visitors by 2015 spending £2.3bn.

The unveiling of the films comes ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games and VisitBritain is also keen to signal other forthcoming sporting events in the UK, such as the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014 and the World Athletics Championship in 2017.

The celebrity videos will be shown across all of VisitBritain’s digital channels, including visitbritain.com and visitbritain.tv. They will also be posted on LoveUK, the body’s Facebook page.

Other films under the “GREAT Britain – You’re invited” banner have featured Jamie Oliver, Rupert Grint and Dame Judi Dench.

Chief executive Sandie Dawe says: Britain’s sporting heritage is being highlighted this year like never before, helping us to showcase welcoming, exciting Britain. This puts us on the wish list for visitors from new growth markets in Asia and Latin America and goes a long way to help revitalise our appeal in core markets such as Europe and the USA”.

Latest inbound visitor numbers for April are strong with a record 2.9m visits spending £1.4bn, both figures are up 10% year on year. Of the visitors, 1.2m came for a holiday, up 5%.

Overall up to end of April 2012 there has been a 6% increase in visits and a 5% increase in spend compared to the same period last year.

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