By Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, marketingmagazine.co.uk
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VisitEngland chief James Beresford has hit back at industry criticism of the £5m marketing spend on the body’s ‘GREAT’ campaign to promote domestic tourism. Beresford said the investment was ‘relatively modest’ compared with the spend of international tour operators. Both Beresford and John Penrose, the minister for tourism and heritage, came under fire at an ABTA conference for funding a campaign discouraging British consumers from holidaying abroad.
In the TV ad, which rolled out in March, actor Stephen Fry asks ‘Why on earth would anyone want to go abroad in 2012?’
Beresford told Marketing: ‘It’s worth pointing out that overseas tourist boards spent £52m in the last financial year trying to seduce Brits overseas, while hotels, airlines and tour operators spent an additional £116m for the same purpose. I think this puts a £5m campaign into perspective.’ He added that initial Visit-England research found 56% of consumers that saw the ad would be ‘more likely’ to consider the UK for a short break.