UK tourism bodies tackle impact of riots

UK tourism bodies tackle impact of riots

Tourism bodies have sought to counteract the impact widespread riots of the streets of UK cities will have on inbound tourism. 

But VisitBritain has suspended digital promotional activity on the BBC’s international iPlayer service as part of a ‘You’re Invited’ campaign.

Head of marketing Joss Croft described the suspension of the video as a temporary measure and the tourism body will be “keeping an eye” on situation over the coming days. He added it will resume its advertising on the BBC site when it is “appropriate” to do so.

Croft said: “The message of the TV ad is very much around ‘welcome’ and it is an important strategy that is still sound, but timing is what we need to keep an eye on.”

There no plans to delay a £100 million global marketing campaign due to be launched in the autumn in conjunction with commercial partners, including easyJet, British Airways and American Express.

The European Tour Operators Association said: “Events like these have occurred in western cities such as LA, Madrid and Paris. 

“Those in the UK are abnormal, and so newsworthy, even this August. But they have been largely confined to secondary shopping centres in the suburbs. No iconic landmarks have been affected.

“So long as the damage is contained outside of central London, then there will be little long-term impact on demand for London as a tourist destination.”

ETOA said its members handle tens of thousands of visitors to London.

“So far none have been caught up in the current problems. London is still one of the safest and most vibrant tourism destinations in the world,” the organisation said.

“What is most striking about these events is the restraint displayed by the British police.  The care shown for human life over that of property is deeply impressive: a positive image of a nation’s institutional ability to cope with adversity.”

ETOA executive director Tom Jenkins denied that there would be an impact on the 20102 Olympic games to be staged in the capital.

“The Olympics is, overwhelmingly, a domestic event,” he said. “British people won’t be put off from visiting the Olympics in Stratford because a year earlier shop windows were broken in Hackney.”


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