The campaign, created by VisitBritain's incumbent ad agency Albion, will promote a "classic" image of Britain based around themes such as heritage, sport, fashion and food.
Ads, funded 50/50 by VisitBritain and BA, will feature the strapline "Britain. A different picture around every corner".
Advertising will be focused in large potentially-lucrative markets such as China, India and Russia, as well as a mixture of European and Asian countries including Austria, Hungary, Japan and Poland.
Laurence Bresh, director of marketing at VisitBritain, said: "I'm delighted to announce British Airways as the lead partner in our biggest campaign of the year to date.
"It 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."
VisitBritain is one of a number of government-funded bodies, including Visit England, which is being reviewed as part of the government Comprehensive Spending Review, the results of which will be published later this month.
VisitBritain recently introduced a three-year marketing strategy based on the themes: dynamic; Generation Y; gay and lesbian; classic; and luxury.