UK tourism promotion body VisitBritain reported 26 million visits to its websites in the past 12 months, well ahead of its 19 million target.
The VisitBritain annual review reported the increase in web traffic as part of a detailed survey of its marketing campaigns during 2008-09. Many of the campaigns included microsites with a dedicated URL.
In the US, VisitBritain partnered Virgin Atlantic in a $1 million campaign with the slogan Get More Britain. The campaign launched in May 2009, with the getmorebritain.com website attracting 200,000 visitors by the start of August. VisitBritain put the projected return on investment (ROI) for the campaign at 30:1.
A pan-European campaign – “Britain for Less” – launched in April, included a microsite in 21 languages, and resulted in airline partners EasyJet and British Airways attracting “six-figure bookings”. The site drew 980,000 European visitors, also with a projected ROI of 30:1.
A campaign with the tagline “Don’t be Serious” attempted to take the perceived stuffiness out of Britain for a Hong Kong and Chinese audience, while also highlighting the UK’s enhanced value for money. The site attracted 600,000 unique visitors in Hong Kong and 260,000 from the rest of China.
In addition to the major campaigns, a “Secret Life of Brits” tag was used to target active retirees in Australia and New Zealand, and “What kind of Britain are You?” was aimed at the lesbian, gay and transgender community in North America. A global campaign targeting James Bond fans brought 230,000 visits to a dedicated channel on the VisitBritain site.