VisitBritain invites Australian travellers to Find Your GREAT Britain in 2018

Britain’s national tourism agency VisitBritain has launched a new marketing campaign in Australia to boost tourism to Britain.

The ‘I Travel For…’ marketing campaign was officially launched at a VisitBritain reception attended by more than 100 representatives from the travel industry across Australia as well as media from the travel and lifestyle sectors.

VisitBritain’s campaign, which runs from February 5 until March 31 in Australia, uses short films and story-telling to shine the spotlight on unexpected experiences and less-explored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned and iconic landmarks and attractions. The short films and images align the passions that motivate Australians to travel with experiences they can only have in Britain, inspiring them to ‘Find Your Great Britain’ and book a trip right now.  

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, and is a fiercely competitive global industry. We are seizing the opportunity in 2018 to showcase that Britain is bursting with fun activities, adventure and wonderfully unexpected experiences to come and discover all year round.“

VisitBritain Director Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa Tricia Warwick said:

“Australia is an extremely important market for VisitBritain; a billion-pound market and our fourth most valuable. We want to build on the growth we have seen in visits from Australia so far in 2017 and invite more Aussies to Find Your Great Britain this year.

“From Britain’s exciting and contemporary culture and living history to the vibrancy of its cool cities, from thrill-seeking adventures in stunning countryside to its local food and drink experiences, I Travel For... wants to inspire visitors from Australia to book a trip right now.”

The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s global research into people’s motivations, passions and inspiration for travel including adventure, fun, discovery, food and drink and the unexpected.

VisitBritain is working with commercial partners in Australia including Flight Centre and Etihad to amplify its global marketing reach and convert the aspiration to visit into bookings. Its partnerships with airlines and travel brands showcase how accessible Britain is for Australians via the five key gateways.

The latest official statistics show that there has been strong growth in visits from Australia to the UK. There were 876,000 visits from Australia to the UK from January to September 2017, up 11% compared to the same period the previous year. Visitors from Australia spent £956 million in the UK during this period, up 12% compared to the same period in 2016.

‘I Travel For…’ is part of the UK Government’s global GREAT Britain campaign, which showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer as a place to visit, study, invest and do business.

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For more information on the I Travel For... campaign please contact Kristen Angus at VisitBritain: kristen.angus@visitbritain.org

Notes:  

Reasons to travel to Britain in 2018:

  • Bristol in England is opening a new museum, Being Brunel, in early 2018 and London’s V&A Museum is opening an outpost in Dundee in the second half of the year.
  • It will be a big year for culture in Liverpool as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of being named European Capital of Culture. The city welcomes the Terracotta Warriors to the World Museum from February to October 2018.
  • NewcastleGateshead in England will host The Great Exhibition of the North, celebrating the cities’ culture, art and design from June to September.
  • Scotland heralds 2018 as the Year of Young People, with events including the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo and Speyside Whisky Festival.
  • Wales celebrates the Year of the Sea celebrating its epic coastline, fringed with rugged cliffs, wide sandy bays, and the adventures to match through themed events and celebrations. Its annual literary and arts festival, The Laugharne Weekend, is in April, followed by the Festival of Voice in Cardiff in June. The Big Cheese Festival takes place in Caerphilly in June, with a Seafood Festival in Cardigan Bay in July.
  • The last season of Game of Thrones will be filmed in Northern Ireland, on locations including Giant's Causeway (The Iron Island) and the Dark Hedges (The King’s Road), along with the original filming locations of Winterfell.

In 2016:

  • There were 982,000 visits from Australia to Britain with total spend of £1.06 billion, placing Australia as fourth most valuable for inbound spend and 10th biggest source market for inbound visits to the UK.
  • The average Australian visitor spent £1,079, 80% more than the average visitor to the UK in 2016.
  • Australians stay for longer than average. They stayed for 13 nights in 2016, almost 80% more than the average visitor who stayed for 7 nights.
  • Australian visitors have a high propensity to travel across Britain. In 2016 61% visits from Australia included a visit to London, 52% in the English regions, 13% in Scotland, 7% in Wales – compared to 51%, 42%, 7% and 3% respectively for the average visitor to the UK.

Source: International Passenger Survey, Office of National Statistics UK

2018 theatre: what to book tickets for now

Bright lights point to the stage in 2018 as a host of theatrical shows are set to dazzle audiences in London’s glitzy West End and around the country, showcasing the best of classic and modern theatre.

As the red curtains rise, get lost in passionate plays, smash-hit shows and flamboyant musicals, and celebrate show business in Britain. Here are ten shows for 2018 that are not to be missed.

LONDON

Network by Lee Hall at the Lyttelton Theatre, London

4 November 2017 – 24 March 2018

Breaking Bad fans will rejoice as actor Bryan Cranston is making his British stage debut in the new adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Network, a Paddy Chayefsky production depicting a dystopian media landscape where opinion trumps fact. Cranston recently won a Tony Award for his Broadway role in All The Way. Many shows are sold out or on limited availability so get your tickets quickly.
 

Pinocchio by Dennis Kelly at the Lyttelton Theatre, London

1 December 2017 – 7 April 2018

Featuring songs and score from the 1940’s Walt Disney film Pinocchio, this new musical production has been brought to the stage by the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the writer of Matilda the Musical. Expert puppetry will bring Pinocchio's world to life during his quest to become a real boy, from alpine forests to the bottom of the sea. For tickets, visit the website.
 

Hamilton: An American Musical at Victoria Palace Theatre, London

6 December 2017 – 30 June 2018

Following unanimous critical praise, 11 Tony Awards, and playing to celebrities, politicians and members of theatre royalty, this sensational Broadway musical is coming from New York to London’s West End to re-open the new Victoria Palace Theatre. Hamilton: An American Musical tells the story of the American Revolution through the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, incorporating hip-hop, rhythm and blues, pop music, and traditional-style show tunes.

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella at Sadler's Wells, London

9 December 2017 – 27 January 2018

Matthew Bourne's sell-out interpretations of classic fairy tales as bold modern ballets are critically acclaimed. His new show at Sadler’s Wells transforms the Cinderella story into a war-time romance: a chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, who are together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.
 

Mary Stuart at Duke of York's Theatre, West End, London

15 January – 31 March 2018

Following a critically acclaimed, sold-out season at the Almeida Theatre in 2016-17, Robert Icke’s adaptation of Mary Stuart explores the backstage goings-on of politically crucial days in British history. Based on Friedrich Schiller’s royal tragedy written in 1800, this electrifying play focuses on Mary and Elizabeth I’s relationship, centering on an imaginary meeting between them. Following the run at Duke of York’s Theatre, the play will embark on a Britain-wide tour.
 

Macbeth by William Shakespeare at the Olivier Theatre, London

Spring 2018

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, will bring A-listers Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff to the Olivier Theatre’s stage for Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. Ambitious and ruthless, the play will explore the destructive effect of power as the Macbeths try desperately to cling on to it. Keep an eye on the website for ticket information.

 

BRITAIN-WIDE

The Band: Take That's New Musical, Britain-wide tour

8 September 2017 – 14 July 2018

Featuring top hits of iconic British boy band Take That, this jukebox musical is a story about how music can define our lives. The protagonists are five teenage girls who adore Take That and aspire to meet their heroes as they grow older. The show will be performed in numerous cities, including Cardiff, Glasgow and Liverpool. For full tour dates, visit the website.
 

Shrek the Musical, Britain-wide tour
12 November 2017 – 6 January 2019

Shrek returns to the stage with his loyal steed Donkey and a 14-foot dragon to win Fiona’s heart in this all-singing, all-dancing, alternative fairy tale. Based on William Steig's book Shrek! and the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation feature film, this musical extravaganza will feature new songs as well as cult Shrek anthem I’m a Believer. This Britain-wide tour includes venues in Abderdeen, Cardiff and Blackpool. For full tour dates and tickets, visit the website.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis at West Yorkshire Playhouse
29 November 2017 - 21 January 2018

A wonderland of magic and mayhem, this adaptation of the novel by CS Lewis follows siblings Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they set off on an adventure through the back of a wardrobe into the enchanting kingdom of Narnia. Directed by Sally Cookson, who recently bought to stage Peter Pan and the critically acclaimed sell-out tour of Jane Eyre, this timeless story will transport you into a faraway land. For tickets, visit the website.
 

Titanic: The Musical, Britain-wide tour

12 April – 21 July 2018

Maury Yeston's musical Titanic, which won five Tony Awards after opening on Broadway in 1997, will set sail on its first ever Britain-wide tour in April 2018. Following critical acclaim at Southwark Playhouse and Charing Cross Theatre, this tragic tale is based on real stories of passengers aboard the ill-fated ship, which catastrophically collided with an iceberg in 1517. The show will be performed in a selection of cities, including Edinburgh, Southampton and Birmingham.