Tourist numbers to dip before Olympic boost

Stephen Fry: featured in the DCMS campaign to boost tourism
Stephen Fry: featured in the DCMS campaign to boost tourism

Marketing pushes to attract tourists to the UK are not expected to yield an increase in visitors in the period just before the Olympic Games, although numbers during the Games period are expected to be 13% higher.

According to a report by travel technology companies Forward Keys and Amadeus, there has been an 8% year-on-year decline in bookings for trips to the UK from overseas for the three weeks prior to the Olympics, from 2 July to 22 July.

Mark Di Toro, spokesperson for VisitBritain, said: "The slight dip just before the games simply means that tourists are choosing to travel around the peak time to avoid Olympic traffic."

VisitBritain launched its first global ad campaign in a decade last June – possibly making this year's comparatives tougher – pledging to spend £100m over four years.

The push started with a 'You're Invited' campaign featuring prominent Brits Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Twiggy, Rupert Everett and Jamie Oliver, in a bid to boost tourism numbers by more than four million over four years.

This then became pulled into the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) 'Great' campaign, which gave a further £25m push to keep driving tourism over the four-year period.

Di Toro stressed VisitBritain's commitment to driving inbound tourism in the run-up to, during, and after the Olympic period, stating that the body's next marketing push will start immediately after the Games.

He said: "Our work doesn't stop with the Games – post-Olympics our 'Great' activity will focus on harvesting the afterglow, by immediately rolling out a heavyweight tactical and image campaign to ensure that visitors book their trip.

"Working with both commercial partners and global brands, this activity will provide compelling offers to visit Britain and drive bookings for many years to come.

The research released today (30 May) shows a positive trend in bookings in the three weeks after the Olympics, growing 6% on last year.

The most traffic from a single country to the UK during the games will come from the USA, accounting for 19% of arrivals.

However, Europe is the largest source region, bringing in 46% of expected arrivals, while North America is second with a 23% share.  

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith at @loullamae_es


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers