Britain as a visitor destination will be in the global media spotlight with the upcoming Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla, and with the official celebrations fast approaching, VisitBritain is taking the opportunity to promote ‘destination Britain’ and inspire travel from the Gulf.
VisitBritain’s latest international consumer research shows the draw of Britain’s history and heritage in driving inbound tourism, with the chance to explore Britain’s history and heritage among the top sought after activities for potential visitors, as well as visiting its iconic cultural attractions.
VisitBritain is harnessing the valuable opportunity to promote Britain globally as a visitor destination and promote messages of warm British welcome, a top driver globally in destination choice.
As part of its recently launched GREAT Britain campaign in the GCC – ‘Spilling the Tea’ on GREAT Britain’– which is using a play on Britain’s love of tea to show visitors that ‘whatever your cup of tea, we’ve got it,’ VisitBritain has released ‘His MajesTEA.’ His MajesTEA is being highlighted alongside destination images of Britain’s history and heritage and its parks and gardens in the run-up to the Coronation and until mid-May.
A limited release of HisMajesTEA, blended by British tea company Tregothnan, will also be available for tastings at VisitBritain promotional and trade events including Arabian Travel Market and celebrations onboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 during the Coronation weekend.
VisitBritain’s Interim Deputy Director Carol Maddison said:
“As the world’s media turns its attention to the historic Coronation and official celebrations and to some of our most iconic destinations including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, where landmark events are taking place, we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to highlight our world-renowned attractions, our culture and heritage and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you can only have in Britain.
“The GCC is a very important toursim market for Britain and our renowned history and heritage are proven tourism draws. The magnificent pomp and pageantry of the Coronation and official celebrations, set to be watched by a global audience , will also show our hospitality, creativity and warm welcome to the world, boosting tourism to Britain.”
The Spilling the Tea campaign including His MajesTEA is using a mix of advertising channels from short films and branded content across social media including a dedicated lens on Snapchat to digital display advertising, digital out of home along Riyadh Promenade and Sheikh Zayed Road and print media. VisitBritain has also been working with the travel trade and media in GCC as well as partners WeGo and content creators Matador to amplify the campaign’s reach in GCC and to drive bookings.
Campaign content is driving online traffic to a dedicated English and Arabic website with ideas and activities, visitor attractions and experiences themed around ‘the ‘Spill the Tea’ campaign using #lovegreatbritain. VisitBritain is also using the reach of its global channels to highlight the Coronation celebrations and associated experiences and destinations throughout 2023. It has a dedicated Coronation content ‘hub’ on its global website, promoting Britain’s royal heritage, with Royal-related itineraries, activities and experiences for visitors and updates on the official celebrations.
As well as the Coronation on Saturday 6 May, the official celebrations, taking place during a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, include the Coronation Concert on 7 May, staged and broadcast live at Windsor Castle. The centrepiece is ‘Lighting up the Nation’, where iconic locations across the UK are being lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations. The Bank holiday weekend also sees events for the ‘Coronation Big Lunch’ with street parties and neighbours and friends coming together to celebrate. Monday 8 May is a Bank Holiday with the public encouraged to join The Big Help Out, trying volunteering and supporting their local areas.
There are also a host of Coronation inspired events, exhibitions and experiences happening across Britain in 2023. From a major exhibition at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire Royal Connections Crowns & Coronets to ‘Crown to Couture’ at Kensington Palace in London, from the reopening of the Royal Mews where visitors can see the King’s carriages, horses and the iconic 260-year-old Gold State Coach to a ‘Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.
The GCC is the UK’s ninth largest inbound visitor market and second most valuable in terms of visitor spending, when all six markets are combined. Latest official statistics show that from January to September 2022 there were 586,000 visits from the GCC to the UK, with those visitors spending £1.5 billion during their stays.
There has been continued recovery in flight bookings from the Middle East to the UK. When looking at May specifically, latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings to the UK are currently tracking at 95% compared to the same month in 2019.