The executive summary PLAGIAAT CHECKEN
2014 saw Britain's inbound tourism having a record year. Both inbound visits and overseas visitor spending were record-high. Inbound tourism is one of Britain's most successful export industries. To maintain that position whilst facing intense competition in the global tourism market, Britain needs to be top-of-mind for international travellers. The growth was contributed by the effective marketing from Britain's strategic body for inbound tourism - VisitBritain. Growth was seen among different types of visitors, but the strongest growth was generated by holidaymakers.
Britain's competitiveness will be further contributed by improved links to international markets and eased visa regimes and other duties. Growth in 2014's spending came from different markets. Noteworthy is that the growth in inbound tourism has also been seen in other countries. For 2015, the increase of both inbound visits and visitor spend is expected to continue. However, Britain's competitive position will be put under pressure by the sterling's exchange rate.
Powerful marketing was delivered by VisitBritain in order to boost both the country's image and inbound tourism. More costs than expected were made for the GREAT image campaign, but the set targets are also expected to be exceeded. Peer recommendation from real people and celebrities was used to position Britain as a must-visit destination. Many impressions on specifically created websites, videos and social media have been ensured by the different GREAT campaigns and promotions in series and films, which led to more interest in Britain as a tourist destination and ultimately led to more tourist visits. VisitBritain's campaigns were often set up together with well-known private and public companies or celebrities and were focused on a great deal of international markets, in order to promote all Britain's areas with inspirational content.
Next to that, small and medium-sized businesses were supported by VisitBritain, through providing them the necessary information and connection possibilities to market their products internationally, aiming to attract more inbound visitors. Partnerships were also set up with leading travel companies.
Online platforms are essential in connecting and engaging with the industry and potential customers. Therefore, a new digital strategy was developed by VisitBritain in order to stay one of the dominant digital tourist boards. A new universal website and customer relationship management system will be used to identify customer interests, in order to personalise content and marketing communications. VisitBritain's main campaign LoveWall was redeveloped as well, which made visitors more involved with the site.
VisitBritain's appearance on different social media channels is valuable for both consumers and business partners. In addition, a trade website was built to enable international travel agents to create appealing customer experiences by combining tourism-related products and services that were uploaded on the portal by UK suppliers. To reach consumers too, new journeys based on GREAT campaigns were offered through the website. Both platforms prove to have been effective, engaging many users and winning a great deal of awards and prizes.
Low-cost access to new markets is important for the inbound tourism industry's growth. Therefor international events were organised and attended by VisitBritain where international buyers and journalists could connect with UK travel suppliers and attend seminars and workshops that helped them understand Britain and it's tourism offer. Last year, extra visitor spend and sales of new tourism products were encouraged by both paid and non-paid activities.
A large part of the country's inbound tourism comes from the markets where VisitBritain has an office. To ensure growth from other dynamic markets as well, activities reaching an international public were organised.
To increase the traveller's experience and potential spend, effortless access to tourism products and services is needed. To provide that, a new retail platform was launched by VisitBritain where affiliate partners could offer products and services matching traveller's demands. The set income and profit targets for the platform were even exceeded.
VisitBritain's knowledge of international markets and customers and their skills to fulfil demands by using the offer of UK suppliers makes their operation effective. Local expert staff is being employed to connect international markets to Britain and provide knowledge about the destination Britain, the travel market and local media platforms.
PR and media relations were used by VisitBritain to promote Britain as a must-visit destination and to increase the interest in and the tourism value of Britain's different regions. New (online) media centres were set up to give journalists access to quality information about Britain's tourism.
The British economic recovery is significantly supported by the growing inbound tourism. This causes that Britain's international competitiveness has been extremely important. To ensure that Britain stays a prominent tourism market, advise was and will be given to government and industry on matters affection that position. Advise was also given on the discussion about the need for more airport capacity and a better retail rail market.
In order to improve the tourism value in regions and nations, the national and local industry were also advised by VisitBritain. Workshops and trade fairs were organised to show local tourism companies how they could include British experiences in their products and services and attract tourists from specific international markets to different parts of the country.
The industry was kept informed about market news and insights through biweekly newsletters and social media platforms focused on updating and engaging businesses. Analysis on the latest inbound visitor trends and perceptions of Britain was provided by VisitBritain. In addition, commissioned researches about travel markets were conducted and outcomes were used to create more effective campaigns.
In brief, various set targets have been exceeded in 2014/15 and the objective for next year is to achieve further growth of Britain's inbound tourism and overseas visitor spending, which will be significantly contributed by VisitBritain.
To achieve this, a number of strategic priorities for VisitBritain have been set up for the year 2015/16. These priorities relate to the delivery of tourism stimulating projects, business improvement, development of policies, improvement on organisational processes and the focus of VisitBritain's activities. To encourage the pursuit of these priorities, a number of Key Performance Indicators used to track progress on the set targets have been determined.
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