VisitBritain calls on nation to help with tourism push

VisitBritain is providing the British public with tools to help attract visitors as part of its strategy to capitalise on the London Olympics and other UK events this year.

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The tourism body has already launched television and digital campaigns fronted by celebrities under the banner “Great Britain – You’re Invited”. It has now created a digital toolkit to help the public, local communities and businesses to personalise the greeting and invite their contacts.

The “Share Your Great Britain” initiative includes tools such as an app with 10 Great reasons to visit the country on VisitBritain’s LoveUK Facebook page and a personalised postcard that can be downloaded from www.visitbritain.org. Friends or relatives overseas who receive an invitation will be entered into a draw to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Businesses can access a free tourism industry toolkit from the website allowing them to tailor advertisements and newsletter templates while Expedia, a VisitBritain industry partner, will push out messages and invites via its database.

The You’re Invited campaign is designed to try to capitalise on the profile events such as the Olympics, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth will give the country.

Recent reports have suggested that Olympic host countries see a dip in tourism in the years following the event. VisitBritain has already said it does not expect any rise in visitors this year on 2011 due to the global economic situation and its activity is partly designed to help prevent a “displacement” effect caused by the Olympics.

Tourism minister John Penrose says: “This is an innovative and personal way of encouraging more visitors to the UK and comes at a time when we want to ensure Britain is top of everyone’s holiday wish list.”

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe adds: “The visiting friends and relations market is large, resilient and offers huge potential for each region in the UK across the whole of the year, so the more people that get involved in the “Share Your Great Britain” campaign, the greater the impact can be for the whole country”.

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