VisitBritain is taking a new, more proactive approach to driving Australian tourism to the UK, with the appointment of an Australian country manager and a new digital marketing executive.
New country manager in Australia is David Nye, who has 30 years aviation and tourism experience gained in leadership roles with Cathay Pacific Airways and Qatar Airways in the UK, Indonesia and Singapore.
Under Nye’s leadership, VisitBritain will work closely with the travel industry and with airlines in a consumer and business-to-business drive to grow outbound tourism from Australia to Britain. In September, VisitBritain will launch a new marketing campaign. It will build commercial partnerships to lift its competitive edge as it promotes the UK as the #OMGB ‘home of amazing moments.”
Nye was recently with Newcastle Airport in New South Wales, where he worked collaboratively with Tourism Australia and Destination New South Wales to profile the Hunter region domestically and internationally. He has been a board member of Tourism Hunter and Destination Port Stephens.
In his VisitBritain role, Nye will build commercial partnerships with the Australian travel industry and international airlines to increase access to the UK’s regions. He will work closely with the travel industry on business-to-business marketing and to promote Britain’s tourism offer at national trade events.
Along with Mark Haynes, commercial manager and Kristen Angus, marketing communications manager, VisitBritain has also appointed Natalie Hone as marketing digital executive who joins the team in September. Nye has already taken up his new role.
Australia is a GBP 1 billion market for Britain and its fourth most valuable, delivering more than one million visits annually. Earlier this year Australia was selected as one of Britain’s seven GREAT tourism markets.
VisitBritain’s marketing investment in Australia, including co-funded partnerships, has this year increased almost 60% to more than AUD 2.7 million.
VisitBritain Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Sumathi Ramanathan said the national tourism organisation was “delighted to have David at the helm of one of Britain’s most important tourism source markets.
“He brings a wealth of commercial experience and local knowledge of Australia’s aviation and tourism industry to the role. As we renew our investment into Australia and signal a new start to Britain’s promotional effort in market, VisitBritain has further committed to the Australian market by not only invested in marketing and partnership programs but in strengthening the local marketing team.”
Nye said Britain was packed full of amazing experiences “and we want to inspire more Australians to explore more of its nations and regions”.
Australian visitors stay longer in the UK, averaging 14 nights compared to eight for other markets. They also spend more, on average GBP 1157 per visit compared to GBP 626 and they travel to more of the UK’s nations and regions than other visitors.
Britain is the fifth most visited country in the world by Australians.
Latest figures from VisitBritain show that for the first quarter of 2016 visits from Australia were up 10% to 157,000 compared to the same period last year. Spend was up 30% to GBP 173 million. Inbound tourism is worth GBP 26 billion to the UK economy.
Written by Peter Needham