Government hands extra £27m to VisitBritain

The Government is to inject a further £27m into marketing Britain in key overseas markets, allowing VisitBritain “to run the largest tourism marketing campaign” in its history.

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The funding will be added to VisitBritain’s war chest to strengthen its four year “You’re Invited” marketing strategy. The money has been found from various government departments including the Treasury Reserve, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The tourism body already has funding of £100m, with £50m coming from its own resources to be matched by £50m contributed by commercial partners.

The new investment is part of the “GREAT” campaign launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in September. The GREAT campaign was partly devised to help dispel the negative image painted of Britain by the summer riots and promote the destination as a great place to visit and do business with.

VisitBritain hopes to capitalise on the excitement generated by the London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and other events to boost inbound tourism in the long term.

The marketing strategy has already seen the roll out of a television campaign featuring celebrity ambassadors like Jamie Oliver.

The next stage will be involving the public in Your Invited by encouraging friends and family to make the invitation by social media.

The extra funding will allow campaigns to be upweighted and extended. VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe says that it will allow the body to achieve 72% coverage of its target market in New York, for instance. India, Paris and China are other priority target markets.

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