Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by the British Tourist Authority (BTA)


  1.  In this Memorandum we have addressed the questions posed by the Committee, with particular reference to inbound tourism to Great Britain. We have also taken the liberty of assuming that the Committee is already familiar with our role as a statutory body, charged with the promotion of inbound tourism to Great Britain, and the way in which we set about this task.


Statistics and other factors

  2.  Britain is one of the world's leading destinations, but the competition is huge and, in real terms, the UK's market share of world tourism has been slipping since the mid-1990s. The profile of our visitors is also shifting. However, our primary markets remain the USA, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

  3.  Between 1995 and 2000, there were a number of contrasting trends in inbound tourism to the UK. Although volume and value increased by 7.1 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively, the number of nights spent by visitors fell by 7.5 per cent. This means that the average length of stay fell by 13.8 per cent, (or 16,576 nights) and, although tourism receipts increased by 8.9 per cent, this represented a loss of 6 per cent in real terms.

  4.  According to the WTO, leisure, recreation and holidays account for some 62 per cent of international trips: business travel 18 per cent and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and other minor categories 20 per cent. Europe only statistics are broadly in line with these. However, the pattern of inbound tourism to the UK between 1995 and 2000 was very different: only 37 per cent of visits came into the holiday category whilst 29 per cent were for business purposes. The balance, 32 per cent, consisted of VFR, study visits and miscellaneous purposes. Whilst the VFR market is healthy (it increased by 27 per cent in 1995-2000), study visits fell by 14 per cent, albeit spend was only down by 4 per cent. The underlying trends were that business tourism and VFR were doing well but holiday and study visits were in decline.

  5.  The state of the youth market—or under 25s—(which includes most study visits) fell by 10 per cent between 1995 and 2000. Over the same period, visitor numbers in the 25-35 year old age bracket increased by nine per cent; 35-54 year olds by 18 per cent and 55-64 year olds by 26 per cent.

  6.  This is the background against which foot and mouth disease (FMD) broke out in March 2001. Despite predictions that the outbreak would reduce tourism to Britain by 10-20 per cent, the implementation of BTA's FMD Recovery Programme, made possible with £14.2 million from the Treasury Reserve, had helped to reduce the decline in visitor numbers to less that seven per cent by September 2001.

  7.  The terrorist attacks of September 11 resulted in an estimated 15 per cent fall in global airline passenger numbers, with much greater reductions in transatlantic passengers as Americans reduced overseas travel. In the immediate aftermath, BTA launched its "UKOK" campaign, designed to re-assure overseas visitors that Britain was a safe destination. Subsequently, we led the development and implementation of the unique joint public/private sector funded "Only In Britain. Only in 2002" (OiB) campaign which was launched in April 2002. Both of these campaigns are described in the Annex to this Memorandum.

  8.  IPS figures from the Office for National Statistics show that visitor numbers for the period of the OiB campaign to date (April-August) are up 6.8 per cent and that expenditure is up 2.6 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2001. This means that over the first five months of the campaign, there have been 776,000 additional visitors to the UK, spending an additional £146 million.

  9.  Although the IPS figures indicate that the OiB Campaign has helped the recovery of tourism to Britain since April, the year-to-date IPS figures for 2002 are not as encouraging. While total visitor numbers to the end of August reached 16.7 million, up three per cent (462,000) on 2001, they were down by 4.1 per cent (714,000) on 2000 figures for the same period. Of even greater concern is that total inbound tourism expenditure to date is down two per cent to £7.75 billion—some £190 million lower than in 2001; and down 10 per cent (£899 million) on 2000.

  10.  Nevertheless, it is encouraging that USA travel figures to Britain to July were up on last year by 0.4 per cent. The current status of inbound tourism from America compares favourably with the recent report written by Donald N. Martin and Co. Inc. for the European Travel Commission. This stated that:

    "The $10 million "Only in Britain. Only in 2002" campaign is being watched closely. Britain is making the greatest effort by far of any European country to rebuild U.S. traffic through promotion with print and TV advertising. The early results are encouraging, with the Government reporting that U.S. visits are down only four per cent through June compared to 2001 and only 10 per cent compared to 2000, the record year for U.S. visitors. That's considerably better than our estimate for the rest of Europe through June at ¸20 per cent or more compared to 2001.

    One important factor: airline capacity has been reduced less to Britain than to Europe as a whole. Also, the British promotion builds on the widely publicised Queen's Golden Jubilee. Taken together, Britain's pro-active response may have saved its industry as much as 500,000 U.S. visits, $1 billion in spend within Britain and an additional $500 million for British carriers.

    If these estimates are borne out, Britain may provide a model for action for the rest of Europe in what looks like a difficult year to come."

  11.  This report's findings are supported by figures from American Express (Amex) which show that expenditure in Britain by overseas visitors using Amex cards is now down by only eight per cent on last year (this figure is much better than expenditure by overseas Amex card users visiting other European countries, which is approximately 15 per cent down on 2001) and by the fact that the Spanish Government has just reported a 25 per cent drop in visitors from the USA against last year's figures.

  12.  The main reason for visitor numbers recovering faster than tourism expenditure is the strong recovery of the Western European market, which is up six per cent over the same period last year. This was expected, as intra-European travellers can travel to the UK by ferry or the Channel Tunnel and do not have to fly to get here. Also, the continued growth of budget airlines is making travel to Britain increasingly affordable from many European countries. However, European visitors have a lower average length of stay in Britain and spend less per day than American visitors, meaning that although visitor numbers are rising, tourism expenditure will continue to struggle until the American market recovers.

  13.  This is having a distorted impact on tourism businesses in Britain. Those businesses that are dependent on the American market (eg London hotels, especially in the 3-5 star range) will continue to suffer poor yields, while those that rely on the European market will start to see stronger returns as visitor numbers return to normal.

  14.  BTA forecasts that total inbound tourism revenue for 2002 will increase by six per cent to £12.0 billion. This forecast is based on the pattern of recovery for 11 September being similar to that experienced after the Gulf War (ie it will take two to three years for revenue to reach pre-2001 levels) but, while this six per cent increase would represent a significant recovery, it would still mean that Britain's tourism earnings were £800 million less than in 2000.

  15.  As the success of the industry is so subject to external influence, BTA has not yet made any forecasts for 2003-04. The ongoing "war against terrorism" and the threat of military action against Iraq mean that there is a significant possibility of events occurring that could undermine the confidence of people to travel. However, research undertaken by BTA as part of the OiB campaign, among people who had recently visited or intended to visit Britain in the near future, showed a very strong latent desire for travel to Britain; 35 per cent of French, 24 per cent of German and 18 per cent of American respondents stated that they were either "very likely" or "likely" to visit Britain in 2002. Respondents from all countries showed a very high desire to visit Britain within the next three years, with 70 per cent stating that this was either "very likely" or "likely".

  16.  Disasters aside, the single largest external influence on inbound tourism is undoubtedly the exchange rate of sterling. Because of the strength of the pound, especially in Europe, Britain is viewed as an expensive destination and one of the main thrusts of our marketing activities in recent years has been to try to combat this by concentrating on value for money products and special offers. (As noted in the Annex to this paper, special offers have played key parts in our UKOK and OiB campaigns.)

  17.  Adverse changes in the exchange rate—ie the pound becoming stronger—have a significant effect on inbound tourism earnings. Not only do visitors experience higher prices, leading to a "price effect" on visitor numbers and on their spending patterns, but their expenditure is further diminished in value when converted into sterling. Last year, in order to understand how influential recent changes in exchange rates have been, BTA commissioned Caledonian Economics to explore the subject using econometric modelling techniques. The key findings recorded in the report The Price Sensitivity of Tourism to Britain were:

    —  Every one per cent decrease in the exchange rate will increase the UK's tourism earnings by 1.3 per cent (£160 million) per annum and create around 4,700 jobs and vice versa; and

    —  Every one per cent increase in visitors' incomes will increase the UK's tourism earnings by 0.6 per cent (£70 million) per annum and create over 2,000 full time jobs and vice versa.

  18.  We cannot do anything to combat directly the effects of the exchange rate but we can ensure that we are increasingly sophisticated in the way we go about attracting visitors and in attempting to re-grow our share of the holiday and study markets. How we are going to set about doing this is described in the next section.


  19.  We have been reviewing our strategy and corporate structure to maximise our effectiveness and ensure that we are taking the needs of our stakeholders—with whom we have been consulting—fully into account. We are due to announce the outputs on 28 October. As part of this strategic review, we will also be establishing further robust and measurable key performance indicators and key success factors—which we will review every six months—to measure our progress and ensure that we are fully accountable. These measures will be additional to the targets in our Funding Agreement from DCMS.

  20.  During the review process, a number of fundamental issues have emerged:

    —  The increasing discernment and sophistication of the world's consumers, who are better informed about destinations and products, often through web browsing, coupled to the extensive proliferation of new and high quality destinations;

    —  The ongoing re-structure in tourism information distribution to the Internet, with broadband and digital TV following quickly;

    —  The growing aspirations of the devolved countries and regions of Britain to develop their own more unique brand identity and product offering;

    —  The weakness in Britain's current position in certain market sectors, exacerbated by FMD, September 11 and the strong pound;

    —  The budget airlines are transforming the dynamics of the inbound and outbound European short breaks market.

  21.  The strategies we have formulated to address these issues fall into four main areas: branding, marketing, stakeholder relationships, and organisation. The key points are as follows:


  22.  We are working with the national tourist boards (the English Tourism Council, the Wales Tourist Board and VisitScotland, and also with the London Tourist Board and other regional tourist boards in England) to develop a new brand architecture for Britain that can stand on its own or be combined with one or more of the four main British brands—England, Scotland, Wales and London—or lead on one of the four main brands. External consultants have been appointed with a brief to clarify the role of Britain in relation to the individual brands and to take a fresh look at how we should be positioned in relation to competitor destinations overseas. The results will be available at the beginning of 2003, after which we will agree guidelines with the national tourist boards covering the inter-relationship between all of the brands, before introducing the revised architecture.

  23.  Our branding and product development work will be customer centric, based on understanding of our consumer segments, and of their lifestyles and the stage that they are at in life, with a recognition that some consumers have different needs and look for different products relative to the occasion, eg business trip, golf holidays, family breaks, couples relaxing.

  24.  BTA's current portfolio of "products" will continue to focus on those that we know to be most effective in selling Britain—culture, history and heritage, country and coast, and sport—but more niche products will be developed within these in response to our more sophisticated understanding of our customers. We will also be building a campaign around the British entrants for the European City of Culture 2008.


  25.  A strongly branded destination campaign will be developed to stimulate consumer demand for Britain in major markets in 2003-04. The campaign will be created centrally in our London office, but implemented locally on territory to complement other local marketing activities. It will offer a "menu" of partnership opportunities for trade partners, large and small, and build on the success of the OiB campaign.

  26.  Customer contact centres of excellence will be established, directed out of key "hubs" around the world, offering greater integration of e-mail, web, walk-in and telephone services to customers. We will also increase our data capture techniques with the aim of expanding our qualified contact database almost four-fold by 2006, to help further personalise customer communication and expand customer knowledge.

  27.  Modern content management systems will be used to improve the speed, timeliness, depth and breadth of product knowledge on our award winning website,, and other digital media, and facilitate personalisation of content to customers. New VisitBritain gateway websites will then be launched in all key markets and languages, providing itinerary planning and "personal brochure" facilities and offering best possible integration with third party online booking systems.

  28.  We will increase the resource devoted to business tourism to fully exploit the potential of this fast growing sector and the relationship between the holiday and VFR sectors will be redefined, with new strategies and resources put in place to improve Britain's performance in the holiday and youth and student sectors.

  29.  BTA's presence will be extended into potential markets such as China, Russia, Poland, Malaysia and Korea with the emphasis on utilising new media and on developing trade and PR networks, via the new overseas hubs, in order to keep infrastructure costs to a minimum.

  30.  We are also going to strive to develop partnerships with other non-tourism partners, sectors and brands to acquire potential new customers and increase our market penetration and reach.


  31.  In partnership with the national and regional tourist boards, BTA will investigate the presentation and communication to the British trade of market intelligence on trends and overseas visitors' needs.

  32.  Relationships with the national trade associations will also be strengthened and we will increase our efforts to agree on key issues and messages to Government and trade.

  33.  Consortia-based marketing will be encouraged and supported, whether by region/destination, product or sector, to facilitate export partnerships with industry.


  34.  Finally, we will be re-organising our overseas office structure to create a "hub and spoke" system which will ensure the organisation is both market and customer centric. The exact number and location of the hub offices is yet to be decided but the rationale is to create centres of excellence through which examples of best practice can be spread. Each hub will replicate the specialist skills found in our London HQ and be staffed with specialists in key areas such as consumer marketing, market intelligence and business tourism.

  35.  Our aim is to have all of these measures in place—or to have set them in train—by April 2003.


  36.  We find it difficult to foresee a time when there will no longer be a need for some degree of government support, which, we think, falls into two categories. Firstly, only Government can provide the overall environment—in terms of physical infrastructure and legislative regime—needed to support a successful tourism industry. Secondly, government intervention, via the UK national tourist board structure, is still needed to correct the failure of the market to deliver comprehensive, impartial and authoritative information and to provide a route to the overseas market for SMEs.


  37.  The tourism industry is highly dependent on the public services and infrastructure that Government and its private sector partners provide. These range from the provision of sufficient airport capacity, and attendant services such as the issue of visas and immigration facilities, the provision and maintenance of the public transport facilities, and road networks on which visitors depend, to the running and upkeep of public buildings and major museums and art galleries, many of which are among the icons that play a part in attracting visitors here. Without these services and facilities, particularly the transport infrastructure, the industry would grind to a halt.

  38.  However, it is not enough merely to provide these things in fragmented fashion. Many government departments and agencies are still not sufficiently aware of the needs of the tourism industry, and also of the need to consider the impact of proposed legislation on the industry. The events of last year placed tourism at the top of the agenda and powerfully highlighted the value of tourism to the economy and the inter-dependence of other industry sectors on tourism, especially in rural areas. This momentum needs to be built on. There is still a vital role for a government department, such as Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to act as a champion for the industry and as a link between other government departments to ensure that Government policy in relation to tourism is consistently applied and implemented.


  39.  The Development of Tourism Act recognised that BTA, in common with the other national tourist boards, should have a strong role to play in advising and briefing ministers, especially at DCMS, and public bodies on issues affecting inbound tourism to Great Britain. As competition in the global marketplace intensifies, so the need for Government to make full use of the tourist boards as independent sources of advice and expertise intensifies.

  40.  More importantly, BTA and the other national tourist boards are still the primary vehicles through which the UK Governments address the market failures of the tourism industry. Successive quinquennial reviews—most recently BTA's own—have confirmed that there is still market failure in the areas of information provision and marketing of SMEs, to a degree that justifies and requires government intervention.

  41.  The larger players in the industry, from hotel groups to carriers, are more than able to undertake their own marketing activities without BTA's help. However, this is not true of the SMEs (with a turnover of £250,000 or less) which represent 77 per cent of the 127,800 VAT registered tourism related businesses in Britain. They cannot afford to market themselves independently nor do they have the expertise to do so. They are dependent on BTA to provide them with a route to market.

  42.  There is also a need to market Britain and its constituent countries as a destination because no business, large or small, will undertake this initial promotion. Although the unprecedented events of last year did lead to the industry coming together—and subsuming individual interests for the good of the whole—in the OiB campaign, we do not think it likely that this would have happened without government intervention, especially through the provision of matching funding.

  43.  The other area of market failure is in information provision. Potential visitors want comprehensive, impartial, authoritative information about the countries and regions of Britain and its tourism products and services. Because of its fragmented nature and the fact that businesses in the industry are obviously interested only in marketing their own products, not those of their competitors, there remains a need for BTA and the national tourist boards to gather and provide this information.


  44.  As will be apparent from the above, we think that government is, by and large, playing the right role. On the infrastructure side, the urgent needs are to speed up and simplify the planning process, and the question of how to increase our airport capacity needs to be settled, both of which issues the Government is addressing. However, our main concern is the fear that, despite last year's events and the dedication of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting, and their officials, who have been extremely supportive and vocal on behalf of the industry, there is still not sufficient recognition across Whitehall that so many government activities impact on tourism.

  45.  On the market failure side, our greatest concern for several years has been the lack of a single supplier of destination marketing material for England. Whereas we work with VisitScotland and the Wales Tourist Board on marketing material and campaigns to promote their countries, we have been unable to do the same with the English Tourism Council since funding for its marketing role was suspended completely in 1999. Since then, we have been working directly with the regional tourist boards in England but it is not within their individual remits to market the country overall, only their own regions. However, as the Committee has recognised in the past, there is a place for marketing England as a whole and we welcome DCMS's pledge to restore ETC's marketing role. It will certainly make our job easier. (The fact that ETC would not, unless the Development of Tourism Act is amended, have overseas marketing powers need not be a problem as the Act already empowers them to undertake overseas activity on BTA's behalf.)


  46.  Given the complexity of the relationships, we think that arrangements are working fairly well post devolution but, from where BTA sits as a cross border public authority, there are inevitable difficulties.

  47.  Whilst tourism is a devolved matter, as a Britain-wide body BTA remains in the DCMS portfolio. At top level the relationships between DCMS and the Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly, in relation to the promotion of Britain overseas, are governed by Concordats; and DCMS meets and consults regularly with the Devolved Administrations, especially in relation to our Funding Agreement and the appointment of our Chairman and Board Members. At the next level down, BTA has entered into Overseas Marketing Agreements with VisitScotland, the Wales Tourist Board and the London Tourist Board which set out the principles that underpin the way in which we work together to promote the main brands in the Britain portfolio; we are in the process of entering into a similar agreement with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

  48.  However, the Devolved Administrations are quite properly concerned to grow their individual shares of inbound tourism to Great Britain and to satisfy themselves that BTA is doing its best for them, given that we have three countries to promote overall. We have had to put a great deal of effort, together with our colleague national tourist boards, into explaining our working relationships and our collective belief that the current structure does deliver best value, and also why there is a place for each country to be marketed as part of the Great Britain mix as well as individually. We believe that, in overall terms, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly think that we are doing a reasonable job but this is by no means a given.

  49.  At present, each country has set its own targets relating to inbound tourism and, in some cases, they conflict, placing BTA in a somewhat difficult position. We would welcome more discussion at governmental level when individual country strategies and targets are set, and would view this as a natural extension to the discussions that take place surrounding our Funding Agreement targets.

  50.  Devolution has also widened the gap between the amount of grant-in-aid available to the English Tourism Council, compared to VisitScotland and the Wales Tourist Board. Grant-in-aid figures for 2001-02 were: ETC £11.6 million; VS around £40 million and WTB £20 million.

  51.  There is an apparent inconsistency in the fact that funding for ETC is so low in comparison to its sister countries, especially when some of the English regions, such as the West Country and the North East, are so dependent on tourism for economic growth and as an urban regenerator.


  52.  As already discussed, tourism to Britain is not helped by the falling cost of international travel, increasing global competition as new destinations open up, and the strength of sterling against the euro. To remain competitive, it is essential that the industry develops the products that the customer wants and offers value for money with commensurate standards of quality and service. These are both areas in which the national tourist boards have a pivotal role to play in terms of advising and encouraging the industry.

  53.  In particular, we are concerned about the relatively low take up of the national quality assurance standards in England which stands at only 38 per cent of known accommodation stock, partly perhaps due to a lack of promotional funding. The fact that each national tourist board operates a slightly different scheme is not only confusing to visitors, it also hinders attempts to encourage a level of take up to the point where critical mass is reached and accommodation providers perceive themselves at a real marketing disadvantage if they remain outside the scheme. For these reasons we wholeheartedly support the renewed discussions, that the national boards are now engaging in, to explore once more the possibility of a single Great Britain wide scheme.


  54.  In conclusion, providing that the industry is not hit by another disaster on the scale of FMD or September 11, we are quietly optimistic about the future prospects for inbound tourism to Britain. Certainly, the signs are that we are recovering at a faster pace than the rest of Europe—thanks in great part to the additional funding from government and the response of the industry—and this is a good base from which BTA can continue to grow inbound tourism through the implementation of our revised strategy.




  1.  BTA recognised immediately the devastating impact that the Foot and Mouth outbreak would have on travel to Britain. In response, a comprehensive PR programme was launched to minimise negative coverage and provide reassurance. One of the highlights, in April 2001, was the highly successful "World Travel Leaders' Summit" to show major players in the international tourism industry that Britain was still open for business.

  2.  In May 2001, the Government responded to our concerns by allocating £14.2 million from the Treasury Reserve for BTA to undertake a full Foot and Mouth Recovery Programme. This was topped up with £2.1 million re-deployed from BTA's core grant-in-aid, bringing the total funding available to £16.3 million. This was used to undertake more than 300 marketing initiatives in the ten most affected markets: the USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland.

  3.  By September 2001, International Passenger Survey (IPS) figures showed that visitor numbers from North America and Western Europe had improved and were, respectively, down only six per cent and seven per cent on 2000.

  4.  However, September 11 caused an estimated global fall in airline passenger numbers of 15 per cent. On transatlantic flights the reduction was even greater, with BA reporting a 32 per cent fall in revenue.

  5.  BTA's first action was to set up the Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) Group, involving the national tourist boards and key industry partners, to assess the impact of the attacks, agree on communications and marketing responses and to advise the Government on tourism implications.

  6.  Whereas the aim of the Foot and Mouth Recovery Programme had been to rebuild Britain's image as a tourism destination, the fundamental problem facing tourism destinations worldwide after September 11 was convincing people to continue to travel.

  7.  To meet this challenge and provide Britain with a strong image in the global marketplace so that it could be "heard" over other destinations, BTA developed a single global campaign using £5 million of re-allocated funding. This campaign, "UKOK", aimed to re-assure overseas visitors that Britain was a safe destination. A key component of UKOK was persuading British residents to invite their friends and relatives to Britain in 2002. Over 200,000 invitation packs were produced, specifically tailored for English, Scottish and Welsh residents to send overseas.

  8.  Together with tourism industry leaders, and supported fully by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting and their officials, BTA made representations to the Treasury to provide funding to undertake a concerted campaign in Britain's seven key markets —the USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany—to prevent a dramatic reduction in inbound tourism and build a sustainable recovery for the future.

  9.  On 18 February 2002, the Government announced a unique partnership with the tourism industry to fund the "Only in Britain. Only in 2002" (OiB) campaign. It committed to match fund up to £20 million of industry contributions for a TV led multi-media campaign.


  10.  Together with 31 partner organisations, BTA formed a Partners' Council to oversee the development and implementation of the OiB campaign.

  11.  A steering group, consisting of a range of industry representatives, was then established to assist in the detailed development and implementation of the campaign. Members of the group worked closely with BTA to ensure optimum output in the areas of creative development, web page development, media planning and tactical promotions.


  12.  The goals of Only in Britain. Only in 2002 are:

    —  To recover as much business from Britain's main markets as soon as possible, with a target of one million visitors and £500 million additional spend in 2002;

    —  To develop a sustainable recovery that benefits the whole of Britain;

    —  To drive business to the British tourism industry.

  13.  The campaign aims to share the benefits throughout the travel industry: from hoteliers to car hire companies, to airlines, ferry companies, tourist attractions and publicans. The generation of an additional £500 million will support around 15,000 full time jobs and provide £65 million in additional funds for the Exchequer in VAT and APD alone.


  14.  One of the first steps was to confirm the creative approach that the campaign should take. Research revealed that a strong emotional appeal was necessary in North America, whereas a more rational approach was needed to overcome price resistance in Europe. A TV image-led campaign overall was agreed, with a heavy tactical focus on solid "value-for-money" offers. It was felt that image should play an important role in the North American campaign, with tactical activity featuring more strongly in Europe.

  15.  The core OiB campaign is a £24 million TV-led advertising campaign, backed by radio and print advertisements, PR, direct marketing, internet and travel trade communications. The campaign includes a powerful call for customers to visit a website landing page, where they can find exciting, great value offers.

  16.  This is complemented by over £15 million worth of collateral marketing by industry partners, involving special discounts and promotions for their services, as well as marketing under the campaign banner. A further £1 million is being spent through the English Tourism Council on welcoming visitors once they arrive in Britain and encouraging them to explore more of Britain and extend their stay.

  17.  The theme of the campaign is an invitation from British people to visit Britain in 2002. The campaign focuses on Britain's unique blend of heritage, countryside and culture and the widely appreciated quirkiness and sense of humour of British people.

  18.  To achieve maximum impact and awareness, the main period for implementing the campaign took place during May and June. This is being followed by a "tail" of activity from August to December to sustain demand.


  19.  The campaign targets Britain's seven key markets: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the USA. These markets represent over 50 per cent of tourist arrivals and 45 per cent of tourist expenditure.

  20.  Within these markets, two market segments were selected as those most likely to travel to Britain in 2002: Empty Nesters (EN) and Double Income No Kids (DINKS). These segments show the greatest potential in terms of volume, spend per visit, affinity, ability and willingness to travel. They also demonstrate a relatively high propensity to travel around Britain and to visit during the autumn period. As a further refinement, the campaign focuses on individuals in these segments who have already visited Britain.


  21.  In order to meet the Government's requirement for support from the private sector, BTA canvassed companies of every size from all sectors of the British tourism industry with the aim of maximising inclusivity and touching non-traditional tourism partners.

  22.  As a result of these efforts, a total of 22 commercial companies, two industry associations and five tourist boards (excluding the BTA) responded. Together with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport there are 31 partners involved in the campaign:
Accor UKAmerican Express
Avis EuropeBAA
Best Western Hotelsbmi british midland
British AirwaysBritish Hospitality Association
BTADepartment for Culture, Media & Sport
De Vere GroupDFDS Seaways
English Tourism CouncilHeart of England Tourist Board
Hilton HotelsJarvis Hotels
London Tourist Board & Convention Bureau Millennium Copthorne Hotels
National Express GroupPassenger Shipping Association
P&OQueens Moat House
Radisson EdwardianRed Carnation Hotels
SeaFranceSix Continents
Stena LineThistle Hotels
VisitScotlandWales Tourist Board
Whitbread Hotels

  23.  In addition, the campaign has been joined by thousands of small businesses who, while unable to contribute cash amounts, have between them offered 3,700 special value deals for overseas visitors, which are included in the campaign website database.

  24.  By June partner contributions had reached a level comfortably above that required to receive the full £20 million in match funding from the Government. Cash contributions have now passed the £5 million requirement by £0.4 million, while collateral contributions have exceeded the £15 million requirement by £5.3 million.

  25.  In order to ensure that Partners receive a return from the campaign commensurate with their cash investment, BTA has been careful to allocate partner exposure in proportion to their financial contribution. For example, the level of investment has determined the degree of exposure on, and linkage from, the campaign website.


  26.  Only in Britain. Only in 2002 employs a mix of TV, print, radio and web advertising, plus extensive PR and carefully focused direct marketing to stimulate interest in Britain as a holiday destination.


  27.  Two ads were produced, (45 and 15 seconds) showing traditional images of Britain in an unusual and humorous manner that reflect the motivators for visiting. Viewers saw Wellington boots raining down on a black cab, knights in armour playing tennis, and ordinary Britons inviting them to visit against backdrops that included Trafalgar Square, Castle Howard, Skye, Welsh landscapes and Buckingham Palace.

  28.  In order to capitalise on the special relationship between the US and Britain, particularly since September 11, the US ads also featured a personal welcome from Tony Blair.

  29.  Subtitles have been used for foreign language markets for the main body of the advertisements, with the final call to action made in the local language.

  30.  As the most powerful and immediate method of gaining consumer attention, TV advertising was been used in all seven markets and we ensured that advertisements were shown during British related events, such as Jubilee programming in Canada and during Wimbledon coverage in the USA.


  31.  A PR programme was developed to create awareness of Only in Britain. Only in 2002 throughout trade and opinion formers in the UK and all seven international markets. The objectives were to create positive coverage for Britain in the international trade and consumer media in the run up to the launch of the TV advertising and to generate awareness of Partner offers and specific key messages in international media.


  32.  A direct marketing component of the campaign has been developed to bring tactical offers into the homes of key target customers using a database comprising the names of individuals who have contacted BTA for information about Britain, plus the names of Amex clients who have used their card on a trip to Britain during the last two years. A total of some one million names in the seven markets have been identified for inclusion.


  33.  The role of print advertising is to present tactical offers to the campaign's selected audiences, which in turn will drive traffic to the website where further offers and information can be obtained by customers.


  34.  France, Ireland and the Netherlands were selected for radio advertising on the basis of the known effectiveness of the medium in these markets. Simple, gently humorous local language advertisements, using an actor with an English accent were used to attract attention and direct listeners to visit the campaign website.


  35.  As the fulfilment mechanism for the Only in Britain. Only in 2002 campaign, the specific aims of the website are:

    —  To acquire 100,000 website registrations by November 1, 2002;

    —  To drive 50 per cent of all visits from the OnlyinBritain website to the 29 partner sites;

    —  To deliver 10 per cent repeat visits from existing website registrations.

  36.  The website consists of different landing pages and domain addresses for each of the seven markets (with two sites for Belgium: Flemish and French). Sites are in English, Flemish, French, German and Dutch. It provides links to major funding partners' own websites and includes a database of special offers from other partners and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Competitions, e-postcards and video streaming of TV advertisements complement the information content.

  37.  A customer relationship management programme supports the offline campaign through welcome e-mails, weekly special offers, e-mails and bi-monthly competition alert e-mails.


  38.  In order to fulfil the key aim of the campaign of driving business to the tourism industry throughout Britain, special offers were solicited from SMEs to support the website. In excess of 3,000 special offers were obtained within the first three months of the campaign and the total has since reached 3,700. Approximately 25 per cent of these offers were discounts of at least 50 per cent.

  39.  This database has proved very popular with over 377,000 click-throughs and, as most of the offers are from SMEs, it is playing a significant role in promoting regional spread.


  40.  Trade communications were needed in both the UK and in all seven markets. The UK trade received information from BTA through trade press releases, letters and information placed on the BTA's Tourism Industry Professionals Site (TIPS).

  41.  Within the seven key markets, BTA's overseas offices contacted the local travel trade through e-mails and faxes and provided detailed briefings. A modest amount of trade advertising was also placed in the US. All the trade magazines in each market have been fully informed and have featured in the campaign. BTA also promoted the campaign in its Inbound newsletter. All participating partners have been involved in communicating with the trade.

  42.  Given the key role of the travel trade in creating business, travel agents have been kept fully informed at all stages of the campaign. This is an important aspect of the tactical advertising, as the call to action for readers has not only been to log on to the campaign website, but also to contact their local travel agent.


  43.  The OiB campaign has now been operating for six months. In that period over 80 per cent of the £18.8m media budget has been spent on TV, radio and print advertising, PR and direct marketing activities.

  44.  A tracking study of the impact of the campaign on people who had recently visited, or intended to visit Britain in the near future, in the USA, Germany and France, showed that people enjoyed watching the ad and that it caught their attention. It was seen as different from other holiday advertising and the main message that viewers gained was that there is a lot to see outside London, which should help to stimulate regional spread.

  45.  Those interviewed as part of the study (among people who had recently visited Britain or intended to visit) also found the ad highly motivational, with 41 per cent of respondents who had seen the ad seeking other information on Britain. Of these, 24 per cent visited the OiB websites, 17 per cent contacted a travel agent and 59 per cent sought information elsewhere.

  46.  The positive response to the ad in overseas markets has been reflected in the high number of unique visitors to the OiB websites. As of 1 October 2002, the campaign had driven 840,000 unique visitors to the OiB websites. Total partner click-throughs stood at 878,000, of which 669,000 were to commercial partners' sites and 209,000 were to tourist board sites.

  47.  The majority of visitors to the websites were from the USA (378,000), with Germany and the Netherlands providing the largest numbers of unique visitors from the European markets (114,000 and 107,000 respectively).

10 October 2002

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Prepared 6 December 2002