Britain kicks off international tourism drive ahead of games

Britain has kicked off a global advertising campaign as the international buildup to the 2012 Olympic Games in London continues.

The advert, which is to be screened around the world, aims to boost the country's reputation as a destination ahead of next year, when the country will host both the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

It features several recognizable faces from the country, including Dame Judi Dench, Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, actor Rupert Everett and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, all of whom extend a "personal" invitation to visitors.

Oliver, perhaps recruited to counter Britain's notorious reputation for poor food, tells potential visitors:

"The food can be incredible – great British food is some of the best in the world. We are a magpie culture – we take the world’s best bits."

VisitBritain, the tourism agency behind the campaign, also announced June 16 that it will be the first advertising for BBC Worldwide when it launches an international version of the BBC iPlayer, set to screen popular international shows such as Top Gear and Doctor Who.

It will be first time in ten years that viewers around the world see a television advert for Britain, which hopes to attract four million overseas visitors over the next four years, spurred by the recent royal wedding, the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

In recent weeks, several other countries have debuted major tourism pushes, with mixed results.

Last week, Tunisia launched a major advertising push using billboards in London and Paris, attempting to drive awareness and lighten the mood following the historic events earlier this year, in which several hundred people were killed.

The adverts featured slogans including, "They say Tunisia is nothing but ruins" and a picture of a woman receiving a massage next to text explaining "They say that in Tunisia some people receive heavy-handed treatment."

The ads proved controversial, although the agency behind the campaign insisted it was designed to show that things had changed and lure visitors back to the country, where tourism forms a significant part of the income.

Malaysia also found itself embroiled in controversy last week when it emerged that the government has spent 1.8 million ringgit (€413,000) on developing Facebook pages, with relatively poor results.

However, perhaps some of the negative publicity will pay off for the campaign - when the story broke, the main page boasted around 20,000 fans, a number which has more than doubled following extensive publicity to over 40,000.

See the VisitBritain campaign at http://www.visitbritain.com/en/EN

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor