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It’s not what you know… VisitBritain calls on UK to call in a favour

It’s not what you know… VisitBritain calls on UK to call in a favour

VisitBritain has today called upon UK businesses to invite their friends, relatives and past customers from around the world to visit Britain in 2012.

The rallying cry for businesses to get involved is the latest phase of the national tourism agency’s ‘GREAT Britain – You’re Invited’ marketing programme and follows a similar invitation from celebrities including Jamie Oliver, Dame Judi Dench and Matt Smith.

Under the slogan ‘Share Your GREAT Britain’, businesses, the British public and local communities across the country are being encouraged to make use of a free online toolkit that will allow users to personalise their own greeting and enable them to invite their global network to the UK for their next holiday.

A tourism industry tool kit is available free of charge on the organisation’s website for businesses across Britain to help them participate in, and benefit from, the campaign.

This will enable them to tailor adverts and newsletter templates in their own communications, thereby extending the reach of the invitation and inspiring more regional travel across the UK.

Launching the campaign, tourism minister John Penrose said: “This is an innovative and personal way of encouraging more visitors to the UK and comes at a time when we want to ensure Britain is top of everyone’s holiday wish list.

“From the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to the Diamond Jubilee, we want as many people as possible to come and join in the celebrations, so an open invitation from UK households to friends and family abroad is an ideal way of increasing visitor numbers and making 2012 a truly memorable year for tourism.”

The visiting friends and relations market is worth £3.6 billion to UK coffers each year and offers huge potential for each region in the UK across the whole of the year.

Chief executive of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe, added: “This is an important new phase of our £100 million four-year marketing programme to gain greater international exposure and increase the number of visitors to Britain.

“Working in partnership with the industry we aim to reinvigorate our appeal in core markets such as the US and increase business in the important growth markets such as the BRIC countries.

“Our goal is to deliver 4 million visitors who will spend an additional £2 billion.