A record number of British tourism businesses are to join VisitBritain in India this week, looking to tap into one of the world’s fastest growing source markets and reap the benefits of the national tourism agency’s £25 million advertising campaign which kicked off in the country earlier this month.
Representatives from tourism, retail and sporting industries will participate in India Mission 2012, encouraged by the emergence of the country as a major player in terms of tourism visits to Britain over the last couple of years, with record highs for both spend and visits being witnessed.
Around 250 key Indian buyers are expected to meet with the UK trade delegation at various briefing sessions to be held in New Delhi and Mumbai.
With inbound arrivals from India expected to increase significantly over the remainder of the decade, VisitBritain hopes it will be able to use key events in 2012 to entice a greater number of Indians to choose Britain for their next holiday.
While Indians undertook nearly ten million outbound visits in 2010, Britain received only 371,000 visitors from the country, making the UK the 11th most visited destination by Indian residents.
Competitors such as France are currently receiving 20 per cent more visitors from India than the UK, so it is vital that VisitBritain increases its activities to motivate Indian travellers to favour Britain instead.
VisitBritain research suggests that the number of annual visits to Britain from this BRIC nation has the potential to almost double by 2020, which could result in nearly 800,000 visits a year.
A typical visit to Britain from India generates £980 with visitors tending to stay for longer periods of time due to a dominance of visits to friends and relatives already living in the UK.
As part of VisitBritain’s £25 million GREAT image campaign, Mumbai and Delhi will be submerged in GREAT branding, with huge bill-board posters being seen by over 16 million people.
VisitBritain’s 60 second TV advert will be exclusively shown just before Indian movie goers sit down to watch their latest Bollywood blockbusters across 120 cinemas.
There will also be 200 taxis with GREAT branding driving around the two major cities in India picking up thousands of commuters each day.
As well as the image side of the campaign VisitBritain is working hard with partners on tactical marketing, bringing in the likes of British Airways who offer great deals to turn aspirational travel into visits right now.
Head of the mission and VisitBritain’s strategy and communication director, Patricia Yates, said: “Trade missions such as this are essential for building the foundations for sustained growth of the UK’s inbound tourism economy.
“Britain accounted for only three per cent of all outbound trips from India in 2010, yet while this still generated nearly £363 million for the UK economy, there is clearly scope for us to do more in order to attract a greater share of a market worth £6.5 billion a year.”