BTA campaign aims to restore UK confidence

The British Tourist Authority (BTA) has launched a £5m marketing campaign to pull in business after it stated 2001 was the worst year ever for UK tourism. The UKOK campaign will run until the end of March and work on two levels – to reassure and offer good value. It aims to pull in £1billion worth of business, after having lost around £2billion of tourism last year. Of that £1billion figure, it is estimated that around £400m will be from business tourism. The marketing will target seven countries – the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland. Advertising in those seven countries will aim to rest-ore confidence in travelling and stress to potential visitors that the UK is open for business. It will also direct potential visitors to the promotional website – www.visitbritain.com/ukok – which has more than 1,200 value-for-money offers on a variety of hotels, venues, attractions and activities in the UK on both the business and leisure side. “The UK had around a 20% drop in business tourism in 2001 and we hope this campaign will give the new year the boost it needs,” said BTA spokesman Laurence Bresh. “Along with the impact of foot and mouth and 11 September, the strong pound has had a bad effect on UK tourism so we now want to push the point that Britain offers quality, safety and real value for money,” he said. “All kinds of businesses have come on board, including Jarvis Hotels, P&O Stena Line and British Airways, and we hope more will be added in the next month.” He added that the BTA campaign will be stressed to all aspects of the business tourism industry, including DMCs and venues, so the message delivered is united and strong. It will also emphasise the reasons to come to the UK in 2002. “Events such as the Queen’s Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games are reasons for groups to come this year, rather than put off a conference until 2003,” said Bresh. The marketing will be assessed in March and further activity will be based around the effectiveness of UKOK campaign.

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