UK seeks to attract more tourists from GCC with rollout of new campaign

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VisitBritain has launched a new marketing campaign called “Spilling the Tea on Great Britain” to encourage visitors from GCC countries – especially those from Saudi Arabia, the country’s 34th largest inbound visitor market – to travel to the United Kingdom.

“The GCC is an important tourism market for Britain and we are delighted to be running this dedicated campaign, tapping into motivations for travel this year, to build on the strong recovery we have seen,” said VisitBritain’s Interim Deputy Director Carol Maddison.

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The campaign uses destination images and short films based on the theme of tea to tell a fresh and exciting story about the experiences on offer, VisitBritain said in a statement on Monday.

The “Festival” themed tea highlights Britain’s live music scene, the “Graffi-tea” celebrates its vibrant cities and cultural attractions, while the “Surf” theme shows Britain’s coastal experiences.

A “Monster Hunting” tea draws inspiration from Britain’s historical discoveries and legendary myths, including Nessie the Loch Ness Monster.

The limited release of the teas, blended by British tea company Tregothnan, are set to be available for tastings at VisitBritain promotional and trade events.

“Britain is packed full of new and invigorating experiences for visitors to come and enjoy, from adrenaline filled coastal and countryside adventures to iconic summer festivals, from street food tours to street art tours to afternoon teas with a magical twist,” Maddison said.

“By showing our warm British welcome and telling the story of our vibrant and varied destinations we want to inspire visitors from the GCC to discover more, stay longer and to explore year-round,” she added.

Saudi Arabia is the UK’s 34th largest inbound visitor market and 13th most valuable in terms of visitor spending, with spending expected to exceed pre-COVID levels by 2025.

In 2019, 221,000 visits were made to the UK by visitors flying in from Saudi Arabia, who spent £627 million ($750.2 million) on their trips.

The ‘Spill the Tea’ campaign has a budget of over SAR 5,200,000 ($1.38 million) in the GCC and uses a mix of advertising channels, including short films and branded content across social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, to digital display advertising, digital out-of-home along Riyadh Boulevard, radio, and print media.

VisitBritain is also working with premier trade partners such as WeGo as well as content creators Matador to amplify the campaign’s reach in the GCC and to drive bookings ahead of spring and summer travel.

The campaign’s creative content has been developed based on VisitBritain’s latest research into motivations for travel to Britain now, with discovering new and surprising experiences high on the wish list for its target audiences.

The campaign will have a dedicated English and Arabic website which will inspire visitors with ideas and activities themed around the ‘Spilling the Tea’ campaign.

The first phase of the campaign is set to run until spring, with new content launching throughout the coming months to capture Britain’s major events in 2023.

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