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Essay: VisitBritain report highlights competition as biggest threat to UK tourism growth

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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  • Words: 980 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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The main premise of the author in the article titled ‘Strategic report for the year 2014/15, 2.1 VisitBritain report for the year’ is that there is currently a problem in Britain which may affect the economic growth of the country. This problem has mainly been caused by the high competition in the tourism market. To counter this high competition, VisitBritain has focused on different activities to attract tourists.

According to the author incoming tourism is very important for Britain, it is one of the most effective export industries. It creates more employment opportunities and a significant increase across the whole country. 2014 was an excellent year for Britain, with a record number of incoming visits and visitor expenses. But it is not that easy anymore attracting visitors to the country because of the high rivalry on the tourism market.

The visits in Britain reached a record of 34.4 million in 2014, an increase of 5% compared to 2013. The tourists had many reasons to visit Britain in 2014. The most popular reasons were business trips, vacations and visits to see family and friends. The increase of visits is due to the arrival of the new air courses. Besides, Britain becomes more attractive for international tourists because of the developments in visa policy and the cancellation of air passenger rights. This results in a growth in visitor spending, wat will grow by 4,5% in 2015 according to the predictions. However, there is a big risk. The exchange rate is an important factor. The more expensive pound sterling will be compared to the euro, the fewer European visitors will come to Britain.

The author argues that the profile of Britain is reinforced by effective marketing. VisitBritain is part of several campaigns. The GREAT campaign is one of them and ensures that Britain is on track to exceed its four-year goals for the marketing program. Because of the campaign more people travel to Britain from international markets, this results in extra expenses. In addition to marketing, VisitBritain focused also on collaborations. These collaborations support the total tourism offer of Britain abroad, resulting in an easy way to associate with the charms of the nations. Finally, the financing of the private sector was also successfully increased. Highlights of this financing were a campaign with British Airways, a digital campaign with STA Travel, a renewal of the effective FA Premier League-partnership, a campaign with Heathrow Airport, a collaboration with different tourist’s boards and a collaboration with regional gateways. In addition to the major brands, VisitBritain continued helping companies, with a small and medium size, with the goal attracting more incoming tourists.

Because the world is becoming more and more digital, VisitBritain focused a new digital strategy and improved its platforms. With the aim of maintaining its position as one of the leading tourist authorities. In additional, VisitBritain continues to expand the Lovewall. This main campaign website makes it possible to trace the traction of the visitor, to locate spots to visit and to explore nearby attractiveness. Social Media also has become a very important aspect. VisitBritain has already received several prices with its active profile on Social Media. Last but not least, VisitBritain began a new commerce website in 2014. This website makes it possible to reach international buyers of travel products. This commerce website of VisitBritain won several big prizes and awards.

According to the author, it is of great importance for the development of the incoming tourism sector that there is profitable access to new markets. Therefore, VisitBritain linked the British travel market with buyers from all over the world through different experiences. 21 of these linked travel markets, spread across the globe, account for 75% of British incoming tourism. To increase this percentage, there is a close cooperation with the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Effective experience and probable expenses are raised by simple access to travel activities. These experiences and expenses are of great value for British tourism. This simple access to travel activities is stimulated by the new retail platform where products are tailored to the passions of the visitor. The platform is an easy way to bring the partners on the market.

The knowledge of markets and tourists and the availability to be present on the supply side is the power of VisitBritain, this provides an international network. VisitBritain has 23 offices, spread across the globe, with employees who offer connections and have a lot of knowledge. In keeping with its commitment to good value, VisitBritain continued its program with the FCO reducing costs.

VisitBritain received 8.9 billion dollars of positive coverage in the worldwide media since 2011, while the target was 7.9 billion dollars. In cooperation with various organizations, VisitBritain helped with the supply of a large coverage of Britain. All this ensured that VisitBritain exceeded its media and PR goals and achieved a predicted AEV of 980 million dollars.

International competition has become important for Britain now that incoming tourism contributes effective to the British economic improvement. In addition to working with partners and working in the travel industry, VisitBritain remains an essential and trusted advisor about matters on tourism for Britain. In recent years VisitBritain has been busy with the contest on airport capacity and helping the society. VisitBritain also shared (market) information through biweekly newsletters, these newsletters reached about 11,000 businesses.

The activities of VisitBritain are supported by investigating the effect of marketing and business-to-business work. This is done by sharing news with campaigns and ensuring that all programs are monitored well. VisitBritain is still analysing the latest incoming visitor trends and observing Britain. Tailored research projects are dedicated to help the business and industry, resulting in more effective campaigns.

Because of the high competition in the tourism market, that may have effect on the growth of the country, VisitBritain has set priorities for the year 2015/16. With this VisitBritain hopes to be able to compete the competition. The focus of VisitBritain’s activities will be on different aspects.

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