VisitBritain will this week host its first travel trade mission to Australia since 2006, bringing in 19 UK tourism suppliers on a three-city roadshow. Australian agents will welcome the visit and many will feel it’s overdue.
Australia is a GBP 1 billion market for Britain – that’s approaching AUD 2 billion – delivering more than 1 million visits each year. Visitors from Australia not only stay longer in Britain, averaging just over 14 nights, they also travel further, with more than half visiting the English regions, one in seven visiting Scotland and 7% travelling to Wales.
Australia is Britain’s fourth most valuable market for visitor spend, fifth for the number of nights spent per trip and 10th for number of visits to Britain.
The VisitBritain roadshow will travel through Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from 3-6 May, with UK suppliers showcasing the best of ‘destination’ Britain to more than 500 Australian travel agents.
While London is a major destination for Australian travellers (58% of Australian visitors experience Britain’s capital), the trade mission will give latest info on what’s on offer across regional Britain. Spanning culture, heritage, sport, music experiences and attractions, participating UK operators include The Beatles Story, Birmingham Airport, Experience Oxfordshire, Historic Royal Palaces, Liverpool Football Club, MADE, Warner Bros Studio Tour London and Wimbledon Law Tennis Museum & Tour.
The trade mission follows VisitBritain’s largest annual trade event, ExploreGB, hosted in Liverpool in March. Explore GB brought more than 300 leading travel companies from across the world including Australia, to the UK to do business with British suppliers, taking them around the country to experience more of the tourism offerings available across Britain‘s nations and regions.
Recognising the importance of the market, Australia has been designated as one of Britain’s GREAT tourism markets along with the USA, Germany, France, Gulf region, China and India. The GREAT program is a multi-year, multi-million-pound image and tactical campaign working with the UK government and across a range of partners.
During 2016 VisitBritain will roll out its latest international consumer marketing campaign – #OMGB GREAT Britain ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ – in Australia to promote memorable ‘moments’ that can only be found in Britain.
“Australia’s position as a top five inbound source market for Britain and the injection of additional investment signals a new start to Britain’s promotional effort in market,” VisitBritain’s director Asia Pacific, Mid East & Africa, Sumathi Ramanathan, said.
“Increased investment is being directed towards B2B marketing and collaboration with the travel industry and the first of these projects is the Australia Mission which is making a comeback after 10 years.”
Visit Britain’s marketing manager Australia, Mark Haynes described Australia as a “triple-A tourism market for Britain delivering on volume, value and regional dispersal”.
“Strong flight connectivity between the two countries, with direct services between six British gateway cities and Australia, ensures Australians continue to be true regional explorers discovering more of Britain’s countryside, culture and rich heritage,” Haynes added.
There is still availability for agents to join training sessions in Brisbane on Tuesday 3 May (5.30pm-8.45pm) and Melbourne on Wednesday 4 May (5.30pm-8.45pm), although Sydney is fully subscribed.
Edited by Peter Needham