United Kingdom: receptive tourism as coronation festivities approach

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As the coronation festivities of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla approach, Britain finds itself in the spotlight of the media around the world. VisitBritain is taking this unique opportunity to promote the destination in France and encourage bookings for 2023.

The latest opinion research conducted by VisitBritain shows that Britain’s history and heritage play a leading role in incoming tourism. Exploring history and heritage is the most sought-after activity by visitors to the country this year, followed closely by visiting its iconic cultural attractions.

VisitBritain is seizing this valuable opportunity to promote Britain as a dynamic, fun and uniquely welcoming tourist destination, one of the main factors in the choice of a destination on a global scale.

To do this, VisitBritain recently rolled out a massive marketing campaign to boost traffic to Britain. The international GREAT Britain campaign, dubbed ‘Spill the Tea’, invites visitors to ‘see things differently’. It takes a quirky look at the British passion for tea and uses images and video to tell an original story about the tourist offer available to visitors.

The key message being: ‘Whatever your cup of tea, we’ve got you covered in Britain’. On the occasion of the coronation, VisitBritain declines its campaign and launches “His MajesTEA” (His Majesty), highlighting the theme of royalty. Dedicated to Britain’s history and heritage, as well as its parks and gardens, it will be active during the period leading up to the coronation and until mid-May. A limited edition of the tea, ‘His MajesTEA’, a blend developed by British company Tregothnan, will also be available for tasting at promotional events organized by VisitBritain.

VisitBritain Chief Executive Patricia Yates said:

“As the world’s media attention turns to the UK for coronation festivities and the country’s iconic attractions where official events take place, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Windsor, will take center stage, a unique opportunity to showcase our tourism offering, our iconic attractions and the exclusive experiences that French travelers can enjoy in the country.

“We know that travel demand is strong in France, one of the most important outbound markets for the UK, both in value and volume. Our heritage and the splendours of royalty are undeniable tourist attractions for our visitors. The coronation festivities, which will be watched by hundreds of millions of viewers around the world, will show everyone the sense of hospitality and creativity of the British, elements that will boost the tourism sector in the longer term. »

The content of the campaign also generates traffic to a campaign website in French offering ideas for stays, activities, tourist attractions and experiences on the theme of “seeing things differently” as part of the campaign “ Your Cup of Tea” with the hashtag #lovegreatbritain.

A destination hub dedicated to the coronation highlights itineraries, activities and experiences as well as information on the official celebrations. At the same time, VisitBritain works with tourism professionals and the media in France, notably by organizing seminars and events on the theme of royalty.

In addition to the coronation ceremony which will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May 2023, the official festivities will take place throughout the long weekend, from 6th to 8th May. The public will have many opportunities to come together to celebrate this historic event. On Sunday 7 May 2023, a coronation concert will be offered and broadcast live from Windsor Castle by the BBC.

The centerpiece of the event, Lighting up the Nation will illuminate iconic locations across the UK using projections, lasers and drones. Over the weekend, Britons are invited to rejoice with neighbors and friends at Coronation Big Lunches held across the country.

On Monday, May 8, 2023, the public is invited to participate in The Big Help Out operation, which encourages everyone to get involved in volunteering actions.

Alongside this, a host of coronation events, exhibitions and in-place experiences will take place across Britain in 2023: from the grand Royal Connections Crowns & Coronets exhibition at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, to the Crown to Couture exhibition at Kensington Palace in London, from the reopening of the Royal Mews where you can admire the king’s carriages, horses and the iconic Gold State Coach, to the Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery of Buckingham Palace.

The recovery of tourism from France continues. The latest official statistics for the period from January to September 2022, show that incoming tourism receipts are equivalent to those of the same period in 20191. For this year 2023, revenues should therefore exceed the pre-Covid levels of 2019, and the volume of visits should exceed them by 2024.

France is a very important market for Great Britain, the second in volume and the fourth in value in 2019 with 3.6 million visits and £1.4 billion in revenue.

Catherine Mills Avatar