VisitBritain and Qatar Airways are set to launch an experiential marketing campaign to inspire more leisure travel to the UK from Saudi Arabia via the airline.
With a projected total spend of £729m in 2020 Saudi Arabia has the highest projected value percentage growth – 181% – amongst the twenty major and emerging markets in VisitBritain’s tourism strategy1. It is also among the top five most high-spending markets for Britain, with an average spend per visit of £2,354, whilst the overall average for all visitors to Britain is £600 per visit.
The campaign activity will take place over twelve days between 20 November and 14 December and will reach at least 45,000 people at shopping malls across Saudi Arabia. The campaign invites consumers at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah, the Mall of Dahran in Dammam and the Riyadh Gallery in Riyadh to experience the sights and sounds of Britain, and sample the comfort of travelling Qatar Airways Business Class seat that available on board the Boeing 777.
A real London black cab will welcome visitors to step in and enjoy a virtual guided tour around the streets of London. Other British attractions will be brought to life via 3D models, TV screens and directional sound when consumers step in range of a featured site. Tablet devices will run an augmented reality app, which when held in front of a feature will display a video and information on the attraction. Four Queens Guards will also be present for an extra dose of Britishness and photo opportunities.
A social media campaign will be running alongside the event, asking people to share their experiences of Britain and Qatar Airways on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #QR_VisitBritain. During the campaign period Qatar Airways is offering special promotions and destination content on its website to drive traffic to London and Manchester. Qatar Airways currently operate 10 flights daily to London (LHR) and 10 flights weekly to Manchester. And recently announced it will begin flights to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh effective 29 may 2014, operating five flights weekly.
In 2012, Britain welcomed 111,000 visits from Saudi Arabia and £260m in spend. In terms of holiday visits, the most popular length of stay by Saudi Arabian visitors is over 15 nights. In fact, Q1 and Q2 data shows that compared to the first six months of last year, the number of nights spent in Britain by visitors from Saudi Arabia has grown by 41%, whilst total visits have risen by 5%.
Sumathi Ramanathan, Regional Manager for Asia Pacific and Middle East at VisitBritain, said, “According to our research, some of the most important factors for Saudi Arabians in terms of enjoying a holiday are to ‘have fun’ and ‘see world famous sites’. This engaging activity aims to give them just that – and inspire more first and repeat visits to Britain from our highest projected growth market.”
Ishfaq Ahmed Jalal, Country Manager KSA, Qatar Airways, commented, “We are very pleased to be partnering with VisitBritain on this campaign to showcase Britain – and the best way to get there. This activity will help us engage with potential new customers and show them what to expect when flying with Qatar Airways.”