Destinations

Bake-off among other treats a Boost For British Tourism

Melina Gouveia

Have you ever tasted an Eton mess, Cornish pasty or Wensleydale cheese? How about the rather suggestive Bakewell tart, Lancashire hotpot  — or a Dorset Knob?

The latter is a flatbread from the British county of Dorset — for those readers whose minds have drifted to the gutter.

Now we are coming into winter; there is nothing like a good hearty meal of British origin — who doesn’t love a Yorkshire pudding with a Sunday roast?

While the Australian Prime Minister appears to be dissuading Brits from coming Down Under, farewelling 457s, VisitBritain is welcoming its Antipodean cousins with open arms and encouraging Aussies to head over and chow down on some of its best regional dishes in their place of origin.

VisitBritain strategy director, Patricia Yates, said Australians tend to know Britain quite well, staying on longer to explore the region. Therefore, a key focus will be continuing that exploration to introduce Australians to new and exciting destinations and experiences — outside London.

Australia is Britain’s fourth largest market by value, and the Great Britain Tourism Board intends to strengthen partnerships in the Australian market that will double its investment, following the $2.8 million dollar ‘home of amazing moments’ campaign launch last year.

Implications from the Brexit vote has been largely positive for locals, with the British Pound plummeting against the Australian dollar, lowering the travel cost to Great Britain.

Furthermore, closer political, cultural and trading ties are predicted between the two nations. This includes Australian eligibility for the registered traveller programme allowing access to the e-passport UK lanes for faster entry and seamless passage through passport control at UK airports.

As a result, VisitBritain is targeting Britain-bound Aussie travellers with some new regional, sports and food tourism campaigns to exciting destinations and experiences around the country, especially outside capital cities.

Major partners for the new financial year include Flight Centre, Qatar, Etihad, Helloworld and Tempo Holidays, which will strengthen travel to regional Britain.

Yates said partnering with Middle Eastern airline carriers, Qatar and Etihad, allows Australians direct air routes into regional Britain, which is in alignment with the story VisitBritain is telling to Australia.

As film and TV are important motivators for destinations, the tourism board leans on literature, television and box-office movies to map out trails and itineraries that will appeal to international travellers.

Yates strongly recommends Australians visit the Brontes’ Yorkshire or head to Edinburgh for the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter.

Additionally, the innovative film-based King Arthur campaign to be launched in Australia on May 1st provides inspiration for travellers seeking to explore regional Britain. The campaign is replete with exclusive behind the scenes footage, interviews, and stories on how to experience King Arthur’s Britain.

Travel agents and consumers visiting the website can complete the Legend Generator to find out what sort of Kingdom they would rule — and, in the process win a trip to Britain.

The close cultural ties between Australia and Great Britain are evident in our shared sporting traditions. Yates pointed out the best Football and Rugby is played during Britain’s winter months. For Australians interested in sports tourism our extended summer break is a great time to visit Britain.

Tickets for Premier League Football competition — which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — are easily bookable online before arrival. Similarly, for the six-nation Rugby, match tickets for the game they play in heaven are available online, encouraging Australians to experience the electrifying atmosphere of Twickenham, Cardiff and Murrayfield stadiums.

VisitBritain predicts food tourism to become a strong driver for the international travellers and intends to cater to those wanting to experience food with a sense of place attached to it.

The farm-to-fork concept has materialised into travel products that promote four local foodie hot spots: Scotland, Southwest England, Yorkshire and London.

Yates said there are many great restaurants in Britain but highlighted the need for travel products that are bookable. She said this means packaging together excellent accommodation and making gourmet food trails that are easy for international visitors to purchase.

The clever targeting of Britain-bound Australians with sports and food tourism and yet-to-be-discovered regional trails demonstrates VisitBritain’s thorough understanding of the local market. Moreover, with the current exchange rate so favourable, there really is no better time to visit Britain.

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