Destinations team-up with airlines to attract more tourists: The VisitBritain’s Case

Airlines, especially the national carriers, play a major role and assume the most important component in boosting a destination’s visitor flow. There is no doubt the airlines’ role is important not just because they will transfer the passengers but also due to their fundamental role as destination ambassadors. Further to this direction, National Tourist Organizations & DMOs are now launching joint marketing schemes with major airlines to further promote its destinations and increase their air traffic. Visit Britain seems to lead this trend by launching strategic alliance & joint promotional campaigns with all 3 major airlines flying from/to UK.

National tourism body VisitBritain is partnering with airline brands British Airways and EasyJet to encourage visitors to travel to cities across the country. As part of the tie-up, British Airways and EasyJet will offer discount flights to 10 cities in the UK from 12 European countries. The cities include Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-Gateshead and Oxford. The campaign microsite, www.visitbritain.fi/cities, will depict two contrasting selling points of each city. For instance, Glasgow will be promoted with the line “trend-setting vs traditional”, highlighting the Scottish city’s style credentials as well as its historical attractions.

Almost a year ago VisitBritain and Virgin Atlantic Airways have invested $1 million in a joint campaign guerilla marketing, online advertising, media relations and travel trade outreach to help consumers uncover the best of Britain. The co-branded website www.getmorebritain.com is an online resource with regional destination guides, a ‘top 25 showcase of must-sees,’ a Virgin Atlantic Airways booking engine for roundtrip airfare, and a diverse selection of hotel and tourist attraction deals to plan a vacation in England, Scotland and Wales. As destinations’ revenues continue to decline and consumers remain tight-fisted with their leisure budgets, national tourism boards and airlines should join their efforts to attract tourists.

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