VisitBritain to tune up its musical partnerships

VisitBritain is looking to build stronger alliances with festival and concert promoters in the UK to help engage with music fans abroad.

VisitBritain sees scope for working closely with music venues and promoters.

The tourist body has unveiled a report today (11 October) that demonstrates the value of “music tourism” for the British economy – particularly for the regions.

The report shows that the music industry encouraged 6.5 million tourists in 2012 who generated £2.2billion for the economy.

Speaking to Marketing Week, marketing director of VisitBritain Joss Croft said: “Music is very important for international tourists and music tourists are very good visitors, for instance spending £910 per head if they come for a music festival and £602 while attending a concernt, while the average tourist spend is £600.”

He said that there was an opportunity for the organisation to work more closely with festival organisers and venue owners to promote longer stays in Britain to their audiences. In return the body could allow access to its own data base and promote events via its website and social media.

He added that music tourists were much more likely to visit Britain’s regions than confine their stay to London and cities such as Liverpool and Manchester were benefitting from focusing on their musical heritage and current offerings

He says: “Music is very experiential and it’s not just about ‘ticking the box’ by visiting iconic sites – tourists are looking to find ‘magic moments’ they can capture in their minds and they are getting under the skin of Britishness by being at our music events.”

Music is one of the seven strands underpinning VisitBritain’s activity and already this year it has carried out a campaign at Rock In Rio in Brazil.

Croft also pointed out that Britain’s musical offerings did not just mean current artists and it had enjoyed success this year promoting the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten.

Recent figures seem to show the marketing efforts in 2012 focusing on the London Olympics and Paralympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee have paid off with UK visitor numbers for the year to August up five percent. For the month of August year on year numbers rose 16 per cent. However, the large rise is partly attributable to comparison with a visitor drop during the actual Olympic Games period.

Earlier this week Conservative MP for Maidstone Helen Grant was named as the new tourism minister, replacing Hugh Robertson.

VisitBritain had its funding cut by five percent this year to below £20m but in recent years it has enjoyed success in pursuing a strategy of “match funding” with commercial partners for campaigns.

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