‘Holiday at Home’ Campaign Fails to Impress

According to a survey, the UK governments GBP3m investment in an advertising campaign to encourage British citizens to ‘Holiday at Home’ has not had the desired impact.

The campaign was intended to help boost the UK’s domestic tourism industry and the greater economy in what are difficult times financially, but the findings of a poll of over 2,000 adults carried out by YouGov on behalf of prepaid currency card provider, Caxton FX, infer that the message has failed to find its mark. Of those polled, two thirds or 67 percent still intend holidaying abroad this summer. 13 percent of people claimed not to have seen the adverts, and 4 percent of people said that the campaign had actually made them less likely to consider a holiday at home.

The most positive response came from the North East and North West regions, where 19 percent of those polled stated that they were now more likely to holiday in the UK. Scotland fared much worse, however, with 9 percent of Scots saying that the advert had made them less likely to take a UK-based holiday.

The managing director Caxton FX, James Hickman said, ‘In spite of substantial investment, it seems that Brits are still committed to holidays abroad and with the pound currently very high against the Euro, holidays abroad can offer good value – especially for those people who would prefer to avoid the Olympics this summer.’

The findings also come at a time when the unusually bad weather that has been sweeping the British Isles is likely to have impacted on the opinions of holidaymakers.

Famous names front VisitEngland campaign to promote UK tourism

Last night VisitEngland’s highly anticipated “Holidays at Home are Great” advertising campaign graced our screens. 

The £5million campaign features some of Britain’s well known stars including: Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, Harry Potter stars Rupert Grint and Julie Walters, and icon Stephen Fry. 

The country’s biggest campaign hopes to channel the power of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to inspire Britons to take a holiday at home. 

Brits are encouraged by the four celebrities to explore the UK, and the advert finishes with: “No passports. No jabs. No visas. No Euros. No wonder holidays at home are so great”. 

The Government hope that VisitEngland’s tourism drive will stop British holidaymakers travelling abroad during the year, as research has found that nations which host the Olympics often experience a ‘sag’ in domestic tourism. 

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, media, sport and the Olympics said: “This is the first time we’ve had a national domestic tourism marketing campaign. 

It is completely measurable – we will know how many nights are booked as a result of this campaign”. 

The advert allows holidaymakers to save 20.12 per cent on bookings for accommodation, restaurants, attractions, events and transport via the website: www.great2012offers.com. 

He added: “As an industry and as a Government, we will know whether this type of campaign works and what the return on investment is. 

That in itself will provide an important template going forward in terms of upping our game in marketing”. 

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Beresford believes that the new campaign will create 12,500 jobs and generate an extra £80 million in domestic spend. 

However ABTA the Travel Association have criticised the campaign, stating that it favours domestic tourism over the struggling international tourism market. 

Mark Tanzer, CEO of ABTA said: “We are very concerned that the Government is sponsoring a marketing campaign that appears to actively discourage UK holidaymakers from taking a foreign break. I’m sure the public want to make up their own mind about where to go on holiday”.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh

OnHolidayGroup’s ‘Google Bypass’ Could Change Travel Advertising

British travel firm On Holiday Group (OHG) plans to bypass Google’s expensive advertising plans through a new social media promotion scheme. The company will offer commissions to Facebook and Twitter users in exchange for action-driven purchases – whenever a user’s contact purchases a flight, hotel room, or holiday package through a coded link, they’ll be given a £25 commission.

It’s one of the travel industry’s first consumer-driven affiliate schemes, and it has the potential to forever change the way similar companies operate. The vast majority of travel agencies offer their services using Google’s proprietary Adwords advertising network – a two-part search and content advertising service that charges advertisers based on how many clicks their creatives generate.

The current scheme is quite profitable, both for Google and its myriad advertisers. But with almost seventy percent of each sale commission being eaten up in advertising costs, it’s one that a growing number of travel agents wish to do away with. The Google Bypass Scheme – as it’s been dubbed by OHG – aims to allow users to market holiday products that they are interested in independently.

If the scheme is a success, it could result in a prompt shift in travel industry advertising methods. A total of almost sixty British travel firms have bit the dust in the last twelve months, leading many to believe that the industry’s current marketing methods simply aren’t effective. Google’s current plan is simply too expensive for travel firms, with many facing multi-dollar bids for small commissions.

For those involved in social media, the system could also represent a turning point for an industry that’s long been thought of as fairly worthless for direct sales. OHG are bracing themselves for a major success, and we wish them well. With revenues declining and a number of major firms out of business, it’s this kind of innovation that could potentially save the travel industry.