VisitBritain announces three-year ‘Countryside is GREAT’ campaign

Britain’s official tourist agency, VisitBritain, has launched a new three-year ‘Countryside is GREAT’ campaign designed to draw and grow international visits and spend across the country.

The ‘Countryside is GREAT’ campaign will position Britain’s countryside as a place to enjoy modern culture, top quality food and world-class accommodation in a beautiful landscape. Currently ranked 20th among the top 50 countries for being ‘rich in natural beauty’ in the 2014 Anholt-Gfk Nation Brand Index, Britain’s ‘natural beauty’ has been overlooked compared to other international destinations and consistently positioned behind America, Australia and Canada.

However, VisitBritain research shows that a significant number of visitors already enjoy the British countryside. In 2013 a significant proportion of visitors from New Zealand (43%), Australia (41%), Canada (33%), China (32%), UAE (29%) and Germany (27%) all explored Britain’s countryside and villages. The campaign aims to build on this interest and show potential visitors places to visit for great holiday experiences and ways to get there.

Sally Balcombe, chief executive of VisitBritain, said: ‘We want to encourage our international visitors to experience more of Britain. Enjoying the beautiful landscape is one of the key drivers for holiday choice for international visitors second only to offering good value for money. Britain has stunning national parks and world heritage sites to rival our competitors but they are currently being overlooked by many of our overseas visitors.

‘Our launch to the British industry is a chance to show how local tourism businesses can get involved with the campaign and help us boost local economies and their own profitability.’

The first year of ‘Countryside is GREAT’ will focus on visitors from the USA and Germany. The regions featuring in the first year of the campaign are the Scottish Highlands, Peak District, Cotswolds, Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, North Wales, Warwickshire, Lake District and Yorkshire.

VisitBritain expects the campaign to generate extra visitor spend of GBP70m, and should see the creation of 1,296 new jobs by 2018.