VisitBritain, the esteemed national tourism agency for Great Britain, extends a warm invitation to travelers from the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries to 'Come see things differently.' This captivating campaign, running from November until early 2024, aims to showcase the diverse and exciting experiences unique to Britain.
The campaign employs a captivating mix of inspiring destination content and short films, with a focus on three key themes: 'wild coastlines,' highlighting seaside locations within a few hours' reach of major city centers; 'countryside adventures,' promoting the richness of Britain's landscapes; and 'vibrant cities,' showcasing the bustling urban life and contemporary culture.
Built on VisitBritain's in-depth research into current travel motivations, the campaign responds to the growing desire among the target audiences from the GCC to discover new and surprising experiences. This initiative marks a progression from VisitBritain's earlier 'Spilling the tea on Great Britain' campaign, encouraging visitors to explore more during non-peak travel seasons.
Carol Madisson, VisitBritain's Deputy Director APMEA CNEA, emphasizes the significance of the GCC as a crucial tourism market for Britain. She expresses delight in launching this new phase of the brand campaign, aiming to not only drive urgency for GCC travelers to visit now but also to showcase the breadth of exciting experiences and destinations across Britain.
The GCC is an incredibly important tourism market for Britain and we are delighted to launch this new phase of our major brand campaign, to drive urgency for GCC travellers to visit now, while showcasing the breadth of exciting experiences and destinations across Britain. Whether it's the thrill of coastal and countryside adventures, such as riding the waves on our wild coastlines, or relaxing in remote landscapes, or exploring our bustling, vibrant cities through street art tours, indulgent afternoon teas and shopping sprees, our campaign shows that Britain has so much to explore.
Come See Things Differently" utilizes an integrated advertising approach, spanning cinema in Saudi Arabia, branded content across social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), and digital billboards in high-traffic areas like Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. VisitBritain collaborates with premier trade partner Wego to expand the campaign's reach and encourage travel bookings for the upcoming winter and spring seasons throughout 2024.
The recent introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, combined with robust airline connections, enhances travel ease for GCC nationals visiting Britain. The ETA, costing £10, allows multiple visits over a two-year period, starting with Qatar and expanding to other GCC countries from February 2024.
VisitBritain's optimistic outlook predicts a return to 2019 spending levels by 2024 and visitation numbers by 2025, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. GCC countries, collectively the second most valuable market for visitor spending, contributed significantly in 2022, with 791,000 visits and £2 billion in spending.
As of January to June 2023, there were 411,000 visits, with visitors spending £945 million, showcasing a strong recovery in tourism. Flight bookings from the Middle East to the UK are tracking at about 93% of 2019 levels.
VisitBritain's research highlights that GCC visitors enjoy various aspects of British culture, from dining in wonderful restaurants and shopping to sightseeing at famous monuments and exploring parks, gardens, museums, and art galleries. The 'See Things Differently' campaign is an integral part of the UK Government's GREAT campaign, reflecting a commitment to promoting the richness of British tourism.