VisitBritain launches £3m campaign to drive tourists to countryside

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Launching the Countryside is GREAT campaign: Paul Roden, chairman of Peak District and Derbyshire Tourist Board; Tourism consultant Jim Dixon, VisitBritain's Mark Di-Toro and Devonshire Group CEO Richard Reynolds
Launching the Countryside is GREAT campaign: Paul Roden, chairman of Peak District and Derbyshire Tourist Board; Tourism consultant Jim Dixon, VisitBritain's Mark Di-Toro and Devonshire Group CEO Richard Reynolds

Related tags: United kingdom

VisitBritain has launched a marketing campaign to drive more international tourists to Britain's countryside and help generate an extra visitor spend of £70m in the next three years. 

The £3m three-year Countryside is GREAT campaign will pitch Britain’s countryside as a place to enjoy modern culture, top quality food and world-class accommodation within a 'beautiful landscape'.

Focusing on the Scottish Highlands, the Peak District, the Cotswolds, Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, North Wales, Warwickshire, the Lake District and Yorkshire in the first year, the campaign is also aiming to create 1,296 new jobs in tourism and hospitality by 2018.

VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said many of the nation's national parks and world heritage sites were currently being overlooked by overseas visitors. 

“We want to encourage our international visitors to experience more of Britain," she said. "Enjoying the beautiful landscape is one of the key drivers for holiday choice for international visitors second only to offering good value for money.

"Whether it's enjoying a luxury boutique hotel, a sea plane experience or a cookery course, we want to package and sell our countryside to potential tourists so they can envisage the type of experiences they would enjoy in these areas."

Countryside Collection

VisitBritain's marketing campaign will aim to build interest in the UK's rural areas by showing potential visitors what is on offer and how to get there. Bespoke itineraries, packages and services will be put together on the Countryside Collection website​ while a print media campaign will also run and VisitBritain brand ambassadors will share their own experiences of the countryside. 

The first year will target visitors from the USA and Germany after research in 2013​ revealed that natural landscapes were a strong motivator for these nations when choosing holiday destinations.

However, while Britain is the third most popular international travel destination for Americans, 85 per cent of them restrict their visits to cities.

Tourism minister Helen Grant said: "We are enjoying record tourism growth in the UK but I want us to do all we can to keep up this momentum and encourage people to explore the very best of Britain across the nations and regions, helping to generate more growth and create more jobs as part of our long-term economic plan."

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