Symposium: VisitBritain woos ‘buzz seekers’

VisitBritain’s new marketing drive aims to showcase events and attractions that must be seen now – countering the perception that Britain is a “museum of never-changing sights”.

Talking to delegates at the Tourism Society’s Tourism Symposium, Clare Mullin, VisitBritain marketing director, said foreign visitors feel that they already know what to expect from Britain so there is less urgency to visit.

“To reverse our decline of tourism market share, we must challenge this,” she said at the event in Greenwich (June 4-5).

Since taking over as marketing director a year ago, she has changed the tourism agency’s approach, to show how Britain is “welcoming, authentic and creative”.

“We want to focus on getting our stories out – we don’t take ourselves too seriously…but we are passionate about our love for this country,” she told delegates.

“We look at a lot of social posts from international visitors, and it’s less about Buckingham Palace and more something around the corner or someone they have met.”

VisitBritain has also identified its core audiences, with ‘buzz seekers’ at the top of the list.

About two-thirds of ‘buzz seekers’ are aged 18 to 34, and described as “free-spirited and spontaneous”.

They are being targeted with the new ‘I Travel For…’ campaign (pictured) which aims to tell stories about British characters and change perceptions.

The tourism agency is also targeting British millennials – those aged 16 to 34 – many of whom don’t know about destinations on their doorstep.

This domestic campaign is highlighting to “Generation Y” how overseas visitors are coming to Britain for exciting experiences.

“This campaign is making a difference; we see a significant increase in the number of millennials taking a break at home,” said Mullin.

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