The £1.6m campaign, which will be 50-50 funded by the two groups, is backed by VisitBritain microsites for each market they target, providing potential visitors with information about Britain’s attractions together with links for booking their holidays.
The national tourism agency says that it has already been contacted by hotels interested in taking part in the initiative, which they say can help raise awareness of their services abroad.
VisitBritain told BigHospitality that there is no specific cut-off date for the campaign, which is aimed at the ‘Classical’ traditional tourism market. It said it expects to launch another two campaigns with other partners, one for the ‘Luxury’ market and one for the ‘Gen Y’, or youth, market.
“Britain has more attractions per square mile than anywhere else in the world. This campaign will help encourage people to discover British heritage, food, fashion and sport,” said a spokesperson.
The campaigns are part of wider initiatives expected to help boost the country’s tourism by 3.5 per cent per year over the next ten years.
According to the latest forecasts, released in July by VisitBritain, the total value of tourism in the UK is set to rise by 60 per cent between now and 2020 (or 35 per cent with inflation taken into account), to reach £188bn.
The number of jobs supported by tourism over this period is expected to rise by 264,000 – from 2.63m now to 2.89m in ten years.
Prime Minister's pledge
In August this year, Prime Minister David Cameron announced a four-part strategy to support British tourism with a goal of making Britain one of the top five tourist destinations in the world.
This would focus on government support at both a national and local level, stimulating the private sector’s involvement with the industry, and taking care when making general policies that may impact tourism businesses.
Laurence Bresh, director of marketing at VisitBritain said that the partnership with British Airways in the new campaign is “strong evidence that VisitBritain is making great progress in winning match-funding from the private sector which only helps to increase the number of tourists and revenue coming into the UK.”