GREAT campaign delivers £1.2b return on investment

05 June 2015 by
GREAT campaign delivers £1.2b return on investment

The GREAT marketing campaign, designed to bring more tourists into Britain, has delivered a £1.2b return on investment since it was launched in February 2012.

That's according to a report by the National Audit Office, called Exploiting the UK Brand Overseas, which looked at the effectiveness of the campaign.

In the report, the NAO acknowledged that there had been no consistent approach to country branding or promoting the UK overseas before GREAT was launched in 2012.

The project has received £113.5m in funding since it was launched in 2012, and has gone on to deliver a £1.2b return on investment up until March this year. The figure means that the campaign is well on track to deliver its target of £1.7b-£1.9b by 2019-20.

The report also praised tourism marketing board VisitBritain for using the GREAT marketing tools across all of its activities, even those not funded by the GREAT campaign, and for taking a sustained long-term approach to branding and marketing.

However it did point out that UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) were not as consistent in using the campaign, with a tendency to focus on one-off events rather than sustained marketing campaigns, particularly in the first two years of the GREAT campaign.

Following the publication of the report, VisitBritain said: "We are delighted that an independent and extensive audit of the GREAT campaign has produced such glowing and positive results in terms of the work we do to promote Britain's nations and regions overseas.

"As a founding member of the GREAT campaign, much of VisitBritain's attention and efforts have been in the successful locking in of private sector funding. In the last three years we have raised £43 million from private companies to match-fund international tourism marketing effectively, creating an even more compelling return on investment. Another priority of our activity has always been to deliver economic growth across the nations and regions of Britain.

"Latest analysis of our GREAT campaign overseas suggests that exposure to the GREAT tactical campaign actually doubles the likelihood of a visit to both Scotland and Wales. In addition, full year 2014 visitor data reveals that tourism growth across Britain's regions has been outstripping London for some time now."

The UK is now expected to welcome 42 million international visitors by 2020 and international tourism is the UK's seventh largest export industry by value, and its third largest services export.

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