For 2018 the UK welcomed 37.9m international visitors, with just under 4.93m visiting the South East. The top ten inbound markets for the UK, in terms of number of visits, during 2018 accounted for almost two in three visits (63%), with 2018 seeing the USA overtaking France to claim first place.
Only two long-haul markets, the USA and Australia, appear in the top ten. Total Spend by inbound visitors to the UK fell by over 6% in 2018, with the South East showing the same trend. 2018 has seen a fall in overnight stays, with the UK as a whole falling by 6% and the South East showing a higher than average fall. Visitor numbers are still being helped by the weaker pound and new travel routes to the UK. The impact of Brexit is still an unknown but a welcoming message and work on perceptions is needed.
In 2018/19, TSE successfully delivered a number of international marketing campaigns on behalf of its partners targeting China, Near Europe, North America and Scandinavia,, focusing on the travel trade & consumers. TSE’s international marketing campaigns are designed to create a presence and generate business for South East destinations, attractions and accommodation providers in overseas markets. From representation at sales missions and trade shows to PR and digital marketing activity, we offer a wide range of marketing opportunities to help you promote your organisation within the international marketplace.
The main campaigns on offer for the coming year are:
- Go! China
- Near Europe Trade
- North America & Canada
- Vakantiebeurs Consumer Show
- Salon des Vacances Consumer Show
Go! China 2019/20
During 2018, China saw visitor numbers to the UK grew by 16% and overnight stays by 2% to 337,000. China is the 22th largest inbound source market to the UK (2017), with 63% of their nights in the UK being spent outside of London. In 2017, the average spend on a visit to the UK was £2059, 3.3 times the global average. Overall, spending in the UK by Chinese visitors has grown by 278% over the last seven years.
54% of the total number of visitors are on holiday, spending on average 18 nights within the UK. London remains the top destination for Chinese visitors, with the South East 3rd in the regional travel destinations rankings, with 8% of all visitors.
TSE’s Go! China campaign has been running for twelve years, helping South East hotels, attractions and destinations grow their presence in the Chinese market place. Working closely with both China Holidays and VisitBritain to deliver a highly successful, targeted marketing programme. The 12 month campaign offers access to this market at a cost effective price. The campaign is ideal for those wanting to start their international journey into the Chinese market or for those organisations wanting to target this market but find the cost to go alone prohibitive.
The 2019/2020 campaign includes both trade and consumer interaction and offers the chance for businesses within the South East to grow their contact databases.
- Representation at the DB China on territory sales mission and Explore GB 2020
- Production of the South East China Guide, distributed at sales missions, trade fairs and mailed directly to key Tour Operators
- Inclusion on the TSE’s translated China website – www.visitsoutheastengland.cn
- Inclusion in translated TSE e-newsletters – example attached (https://communicatoremail.com/In/UDH2aqmeKHQtdvPmAnqvxEFWa3X9qDZH/T/)
- Exposure on our China Weibo social media account (https://www.weibo.com/southeastengland link please) & WeChat account
- Inclusion in translated Days out Leatlet targeting the student VFR market
We are also delighted to be able to offer advertising opportunities in The South East China Guide, which will be fully translated and distributed at CITM, GITF and DB China Sales Mission. Click here for more information and to book.
Near Europe 2019/20
This year Near Europe Campaign is striving to send a big welcome to our near Europe partners with a focus on one to one sales mission and the chance to welcome the Belgium media to our shores. The US market has for the first time in a long time topped the inbound statistics to the UK and we have seen flight bookings to the UK made through indirect channels down year on year. A decline in confidence in travel post March 29th is a significant and TSE aim is to continue the links with our European partners and show that the South East is open and keen for business. The pound remains much lower than its pre-referendum level and the forecast is for this to continue throughout the medium term, although as with all this is uncertain. Although this helps, Visit Britain research shows that this favourable exchange rate is less top of mind for travellers than it was in 2016.
Our French neighbours saw nearly 3.69m visitors to the UK in 2018, the 2nd largest inbound market to the UK and the 3rd largest in spend. The German market saw inbound totals of 3.62m, the 3rd largest to the UK and 2nd largest in spend and the Belgium market 9th largest at 1.11m and 18th largest in spend. The campaign offers partners the chance to put their product in front of the operators in a series of one to one site visits on territory and highlight the great opportunities available within the South East. The 12 month campaign will offer partners the chance to build, refresh and update their offers with our Near Europe partners.
- Representation in France, Belgium and Germany
- Representation at Explore GB 2020
- Inclusion in themed TSE newsletters
- Chance to welcome Belgium media to our region and showcase some of the South East
- Translated sales sheets to support activity in French and Belgium
Booking forms must be returned by the 15th June
Scandinavian Campaign 2019/20
The Sweden welcomed the 13th largest number of inbound visitors to the UK in 2018, followed by Demark and Norway, 15th & 16th respectively. Forecasts continue to be positive about this market with the potential for growth over the next six years.
10% of the total visitors to the UK come to the South East, the largest number for the UK by region. Most visits link to London so the South East benefits from this with its ease of access and direct road and rail links.
Swedish visitors travel throughout the year which is beneficial for extending the South East season and there is a large tendency for repeat visits between 3 – 4 times over a 10 year period. Food & drink plays an important part in the Swedish travel plans with a keen propensity to culture, history and sport, city breaks and shopping which make this an ideal market for the South East of focus on.
This year’s campaign sees focus on the Swedish travel trade but with digital marketing to the other partner markets
The 12 month campaign includes
Two e-newsletters one trade and one consumer
One to One Sales Mission to Sweden
One to One representation at Travel News Market https://www.travelnewsmarket.com/
Representation Explore GB 2020
Booking deadline is the 15th June 2019.
America & Canada 2019/20
Tourism South East’s’ International team are pleased to introduce its campaign to tragte the USA and Canada. The USA is the top inbound market to the UK (2018), bringing 3.877 m visitors to our shores. It is also the top spending market at £3.378m and is therefore a key market for our South East partners to showcase their products to.
This is a mature market, with 46% of the total visitors coming here on holiday. Experiences are key to this market, with visitors enjoying our rich history and heritage, alongside our vibrant city culture, good food and drink. Visitor from the US also enjoy our outdoor space with a high propensity to explore the coast, parks and gardens and rural countryside. Three star and above hotels and guests houses are popular with this market. Planning is normally done early but booking is generally 3-6 months before arrival. The weak pound and growing US economy is all helping to drive business to the UK
The TSE 12-month campaign offers a chance to put your product in front of Tour Operators, OTA’s, agents and consumers within the US and Canada
Representation at one to one sales mission to New York & Toronto
Representation at Explore GB and UKInbound
Inclusion in the Britain Magazine distributed to US consumers with a readership of 125,000
Feature on Travel Research online with direct links to the travel agents in the US
Please contact Fran Downton with your questions or queries.
If you have any further queries on International Marketing, please contact the International team.