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VisitBritain targets £70m tourism boost for UK countryside

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VisitBritain has launched a new three-year 'Countryside is GREAT' campaign, designed to attract foreign tourists by showcasing the UK’s natural beauty.

The North York Moors, the Scottish Highlands and the Pembrokeshire Coast will be positioned as rivals the likes of the Bavarian Alps and the Grand Canyon as part of the campaign, which aims to generate extra visitor spend of £70m by 2015. The marketing drive will position Britain’s countryside as a place to enjoy modern culture, top quality food and world-class accommodation in a beautiful landscape, with the story told by third party enthusiasts.

VisitBritain research shows that a wide range of visitors already the UK countryside. In 2013 a significant proportion of visitors from New Zealand (43%), Australia (41%), Canada (33%), China (32%), UAE (29%) and Germany (27%) all explored Britain’s countryside and villages. The Countryside is GREAT campaign aims to build on this interest and show potential visitors what is on offer, where to find great experiences and how to get there.

VisitBritain will feature bespoke countryside itineraries, experiences, services and packages on ‘The CountrysideCollection’ campaign website and across print media. Meanwhile, VisitBritain brand ambassadors will also share their own chronicled countryside experiences, from zip-lining in Wales to champagne cruising on a Scottish loch, or sampling local produce in an award-winning gastro pub after a coastal walk.

“We want to encourage our international visitors to experience more of Britain. Enjoying the beautiful landscape is one of the key drivers for holiday choice for international visitors, second only to offering good value for money,” said VisitBritain CEO Sally Balcombe.

“Britain has stunning national parks and world heritage sites to rival our competitors but they are currently being overlooked by many of our overseas visitors.”

The regions featuring in the first year of the campaign are the Scottish Highlands, Peak District, Cotswolds, Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, North Wales, Warwickshire, Lake District and Yorkshire. To deliver the campaign, VisitBritain has joined forces with The National Parks, The Forestry Commission, The Canal and River Trust and Hertz Cars, as well as DCMS, DEFRA and the national tourist boards.

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VisitBritain has launched a new three-year 'Countryside is GREAT' campaign, designed to attract foreign tourists by showcasing the UK’s natural beauty.
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(From left) Paul Roden, chair of Peak District and Derbyshire Tourist Board; Jim Dixon, tourism consultant; Mark Di-Toro, VisitBritain head of media; and Devonshire Group CEO Richard Reynolds launch the campaign at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire
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