Press release

Britain's biggest ever international tourism campaign goes global

90 million people to see GREAT adverts across 14 cities worldwide

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

9 February 2012

The New York Subway, Paris Metro, and 100 taxis across Delhi will be draped with the Union flag and a series of GREAT images as part of a huge drive to encourage more international visitors to the UK.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt today launched Britain’s biggest ever tourism campaign, which will be rolled out in New York from Monday.  It will see the inside and outside of a New York subway train wrapped in the GREAT branding, and adverts blitzed across key transit hubs including Grand Central and Stamford stations.

VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign aims to attract an extra 4.6 million extra visitors to the UK over the next four years, securing an additional £2.3 billion in visitor spend. 

The campaign will target nine countries worldwide, with adverts appearing in 14 key cities around the world: Beijing, Berlin, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto. Around 70 per cent of the population in each of the target cities will see the advertising on billboards, TV, or in the cinema.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said:

“We are taking the fight for the tourist pound right to our competitors’ doorsteps, with a sales assault on the 14 biggest and most lucrative tourism markets around the world. Right across the world, there will be no escape from the message that Britain is great.”

VisitBritain’s Chief Executive, Sandie Dawe said:

“This campaign will allow us to promote Britain in 14 of the key global economic powerhouse cities where our adverts will be seen by over two-thirds of our target audience. That means nearly 90 million people will be focusing on all that is GREAT about coming here for their next holiday. The eye-catching images reflect Britain’s tourism appeal, featuring our rich history and culture, our spectacular countryside and coastline, our thriving music scene and our wonderful shopping, which our research tells us are the main draws for overseas visitors.

“We have long recognised that 2012 will present us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a solid tourism legacy, one that will help us to grow a sector which already contributes over £17 billion in foreign exchange to the UK economy each year and has potential to do so much more. The more overseas visitors we can entice to visit Britain as a result of this campaign the more jobs the industry can sustain right across the country.”

The international reach of the campaign will be strengthened by the announcement today of a global partnership between VisitBritain and Yahoo!, one of the world’s most visited homepages. This aims to drive over five million views of VisitBritain content on the Yahoo! network and help drive 3.5 million visits to VisitBritain’s own online platforms.

Rich Riley, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Yahoo! EMEA said:

“We are really excited to have been chosen as VisitBritain’s digital display partner. This will be their largest ever online campaign and Yahoo! has a strong track record of delivering original global media campaigns with seamless digital content and advertising. Our campaign for VisitBritain will be as individual as those consumers who interact with it - helping demonstrate why we all think Britain is so great. VisitBritain has partnered with us so that they can potentially engage with our 400 million Yahoo! users across Germany, France, India, China, Australia, Japan, Brazil, USA and Canada. 2012 is the year to visit Britain and we’re about to show people why.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Copies of the GREAT ads being used in each country, along with a copy of the television commercial being aired across the globe and other GREAT material are available for use on VisitBritain’s website.
  2. For further information please contact Emma Marsh at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on 020 7211 6271/07919 693 320.
  3. The GREAT initiative is an international campaign to maximise the tourism and business opportunities of the UK hosting the 2012 Games.
  4. For further information about VisitBritain’s campaign please contact David Leslie on 0207 578 1141 / 07880 563 476.

Press Enquiries: 020 7211 2210
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 6000

Published 9 February 2012