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Nearly £10 million global campaign launchd to drive inbound tourism to Britain

Great Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, on February 9, 2022; launched a new multi-million-pound global campaign in Dubai to drive inbound tourism. The global initiative to drive inbound tourism to the UK, after the sector was hammered by the fallout from the pandemic, comes as the country gears up for a year of big events including Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

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The £10 million (Dh49.89m) marketing campaign — “Welcome to Another Side of Britain” — was launched by Nadine Dorries, Member of Parliament (MP), Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) at a VisitBritain reception held at Kempinski Hotel in Mall of the Emirates (MoE). 

The event was hosted by Dame Judith Macgregor, the chair of British Tourist Authority and VisitBritain, and Tricia Warwick, Director, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (APMEA), China and North-East Asia.

The British Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, and Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council Councillor, were present on the occasion. A delegation of key travel partners from India was led by Vishal Bhatia, Country Manager – India, VisitBritain and Shuja Mehdi, B2B Manager – India, VisitBritain. Present at the event were Riaz Munshi, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), Anoop Kanuga, National Committee Member, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Jitul Mehta, Western India Chapter Chairman, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).

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The campaign will shine the spotlight on Britain’s cities while focussing on global tourism draws such as Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Rugby League World Cup and UNBOXED — Creativity in the UK, previously known as Festival UK2022 and known colloquially as the Festival of Brexit.

“It’ll highlight the best of the UK to the world and show that we are open and ready to welcome back international visitors,” said Dorries.

Dame Macgregor said the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations are the second-biggest market for tourism, which contribute to 10 per cent of Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“The GCC is a very important inbound travel market for the UK and we know there is pent-up demand for travel. We get roughly 1.2 million visitors from the GCC annually. Of them, nearly 500,000 are from the UAE alone,” Dame Macgregor told Khaleej Times earlier on Wednesday.

“We’re delighted to launch our campaign in Dubai, in support of the wider programme of events for UK National Day and Expo2020 Dubai,” said Dame Macgregor, who had retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2017 after 40 years in diplomatic service.

Inbound tourism was worth more than £28 (Dh139.54) billion to the British economy in 2019 — its third-largest service export and a major part of the country’s trade ahead of Brexit on February 1, 2020.

Photographs courtesy: Sourced from VisitBritain