Listen to the grandfather clock chime in Anne Hathaway’s cottage, take a leisurely stroll on the beach at Durdle Door, or enjoy the choir singing at Rosslyn Chapel. These are just some of the things international tourists can now do in Britain – before they even arrive.
The national tourism agency, VisitBritain, has commissioned a series of immersive 360 degree experiences giving overseas visitors an opportunity to step inside some of Britain’s most-loved attractions.
As part of the Government’s hugely successful GREAT tourism campaign, this activity from VisitBritain aims to drive more international visitors out across the nations and regions of Britain. International tourism continues to deliver economic benefits across the country, and the last two years have seen almost all other parts of the UK grow faster than London. By UK area, Yorkshire recorded the highest levels of growth in visits in 2014, followed by Scotland and the North East. For spending, Scotland leads the way with a 10% increase, followed closely by the East of England at 9% and the South East at 8%.
The entire panoramic series, and much more inspirational content, can be found on the newwww.visitbritainblog.com site from Saturday 11 July. The panoramas were created by 360 degree specialist Rod Edwards.
Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “Not only will this immersive experience allow potential visitors to snoop around some of our greatest tourist attractions before they arrive, but it will inspire and motivate more travel across the country.
“London is a huge global asset for Britain – a dynamic, cosmopolitan and well-connected city that visitors aspire to visit. Our challenge is to encourage visitors to add to their holiday experience by exploring even more during their short time here and making sure they know how easy it is to get around.”
In 2014 the UK welcomed a record 34.8 million international visitors, up by 6% on 2013. Altogether they spent another record £21.7 billion in our economy (also up 3% in real terms), directly supporting 500,000 jobs. As a result of the success of recent years, VisitBritain projects that the UK will welcome a record 42 million international visitors annually by 2020.
In 2014 Australian visitors spent £1.224 billion (A$2.32bn) in Britain, up 3% on 2013 and a new record. Australian visitors spent 15 million nights in Britain, a growth of 1% on 2013 and also a new record. There were 1.057 million inbound visits from Australia to Britain.
The Australian market retains its rankings as Britain’s 4th most valuable international source market for visitor spend, 5th for visitor nights and 10th for visits. In the five years since 2009, Australian visits have grown by 15.9%, visitor spend has increased by 43% while visitor nights have grown by 12.7%.
VisitBritain’s activity already delivers economic growth across the nations and regions of Britain. Exposure to the GREAT tactical campaign doubles the likelihood of a visit to both Scotland and Wales. In addition, Wales saw a three-fold increase and Scotland saw a 50% increase in the number of nights spent in the destinations among those having been influenced by the GREAT campaign. VisitBritain will use its Countryside is GREAT campaign to continue re-balancing the country’s tourism economy.