VisitBritain: GCC Visitors Travelling to the UK in Record Numbers

Press release
Published August 6th, 2018 - 09:16 GMT
VisitBritain is working with partners across the GCC including WeGo and Etihad Airways
VisitBritain is working with partners across the GCC including WeGo and Etihad Airways

Latest official figures from VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, show that 2017 was a record-breaking year for tourism from the GCC.

There were a record 812,000 visits from the GCC to the UK in 2017, up 5% on the previous year, with visitors spending £2.2 billion, up 55%, and also setting a new record.

Tricia Warwick has also been announced as the permanent Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa for VisitBritain, based in the Dubai regional office.

Tricia will be focusing on growing the value and the volume of inbound tourism from this region by developing and amplifying the trade and public diplomacy partnerships by driving inspiration and conversion to explore Britain through the “I Travel For…” consumer marketing campaign.”

VisitBritain APMEA Director Tricia Warwick said:

“The GCC is a significant market and a huge tourism opportunity for VisitBritain. It is fantastic that more people than ever are travelling to Britain and enjoying experiences that you cannot get anywhere else, from world-class shopping and personal shopping experiences, fine-dining in Michelin star restaurants, luxury sporting and heritage breaks, contemporary culture and vibrant cities, to beautiful countryside and globally renowned historic sites and museums.”

“Britain is offering great value for visitors from the GCC, it ranks number one for GCC outbound destinations by overnights visit volume in Western Europe, and we are working hard with partners including tour operators and airlines to make it easier to book and explore more of the country, inspiring visitors to travel right now.”

VisitBritain is working with partners across the GCC including WeGo and Etihad Airways, to amplify its marketing reach and convert the aspiration to visit the UK into bookings, and to showcase how accessible regional Britain is for visitors from the GCC, promoting regional destinations in England, making it easier for visitors to book and explore more the country.

VisitBritain is inspiring visitors from the GCC to put the UK at the top of the list as their must-visit destination through its ‘Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…’ digital campaign launched earlier this year.

The campaign uses short films and story-telling to shine a spotlight on unexpected experiences and less-explored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned and iconic landmarks and attractions. The content aligns the passions that motivate visitors from the GCC to travel with experiences they can only have in Britain, inspiring them to ‘Find Your Great Britain’ and book a trip right now.

Background Information


Developing England’s tourism product. Promoting Britain worldwide. Boosting visitor spend. Tourism is currently worth £127 billion to Britain’s economy and as Britain’s seventh largest export industry, inbound tourism’s economic contribution is currently valued at £26.2 billion.

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