£2.5m domestic campaign woos millennials

A nationwide tourism campaign has been unveiled to encourage more young people to take holidays in the UK.

The £2.5 million VisitBritain/VisitEngland initiative follows research showing that those aged 16 to 34 took almost 1.4 million fewer holidays at home last year compared to a decade ago.

The ‘Join the World – Discover the UK’ digital and social media campaign launched today (September 11).

The campaign is running in partnership with the national tourism organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and tourism businesses and destination management organisations across the UK.

The tourism agencies are targeting the ‘lost generation’ using overseas social media influencers and travellers to showcase to their peers the experiences that can only be had on a holiday in the UK.

They aim to generate more than one million additional overnight stays with an £80 million boost to the economy.

The campaign kicks off with short films and images showcasing experiences in London and Yorkshire, Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, Glasgow and Elan Valley in Wales, through the eyes of international travellers.

These are being promoted across digital and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and digital billboards throughout the UK.

The campaign drives online traffic to a hub on www.visitbritain.com/jointheworld featuring blogs and user-generated content showcasing seasonal events, activities and experiences.

Visitors can upload images of their own ‘amazing moments’ on social media using #lovegreatbritain and #loveUK for the chance to feature on the hub.

Short films created by a French social media influencer on a foodie trip to Northern Ireland and a Canadian influencer on a trip to Bristol will launch in October.

Tourism minister John Glen said: “There is an incredible amount to see and do across the whole of the UK and we want to inspire more young people to take in our world-class attractions, sites and cities.”

Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain/VisitEngland chief executive, added: “We want young people to take a new look at the sheer diversity and quality of activities and experiences right here on our doorstep and inspire them to book a short break, boosting seasonal tourism and spreading its economic benefits across the UK.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, commented: “The millennial generation is one of the largest in history – even surpassing baby-boomers – and so the potential impact of attracting this lucrative market is significant.

“From camping under a blanket of stars in the Dark Skies Park in Dumfries and Galloway to road-tripping on the North Coast 500, or from relishing delicious vegan food in Glasgow to feeling the adrenaline-rush of coasteering in Argyll, there is an adventure on every corner.

“As the 2018 Year of Young People is on our doorstep, there has never been a more fitting time to embrace everything this influential and digital-savvy generation has to offer.”

Picture shows tourist at Whitehall, London ©VisitBritain/Simon Winnall