Millions of tourists see the brighter side of flood-hit areas


Striking images of Cumbria, Lancashire, Scotland and Yorkshire have been unveiled across Heathrow’s terminals today in a bid to promote some of the worst affected areas following recent floods.

Offering £500,000 worth of advertising space, Britain’s busiest airport has teamed up with VisitBritain and VisitScotland to encourage the airport’s passengers to visit the affected areas.

The promotional GREAT campaign images feature Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria, Harewood House in Yorkshire, Williamson Park in Lancashire and Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire. The affected areas will showcase their unique attractions to tens of millions of British passengers as well as international tourists throughout the six-week campaign across all of Heathrow’s terminals.

VisitBritain and Heathrow are encouraging international tourists and Britons to help spread the word further, by sharing their own spectacular images of these unique areas via social media using #OpenforBusiness!

International tourism to these areas is on the rise. In 2014, Yorkshire and Cumbria both saw a 13% increase in international visits compared to 2013 – with 1.4 million and 265,000 visits respectively – while Lancashire welcomed more than 280,000 visits from overseas, an increase of 12%.

Growth has been even higher in the longer-term with international visits and spending in Cumbria both up 35% in the five years to 2014. Spending during this period was also up in Yorkshire (37%) and Lancashire (24%).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“I’m keen that Heathrow plays its part in supporting the economic recovery of parts of the country that have been recently affected by flooding. We are the only UK airport that brings in more tourists than it sends out and we’re going to do everything we can to ensure they know all about the amazing things they can see and do in Cumbria, Lancashire, Scotland and Yorkshire.”

VisitBritain CEO Sally Balcombe said:
“We want international visitors to Britain to know that affected areas are not just open for business but also packed-full of incredible experiences and sights. Heathrow Airport is one of the main gateways to Britain and we hope this partnership will inspire visitors to explore more of Britain’s nations and regions, ensuring that the economic growth from tourism is spread across the country.”
Tourism is Britain’s seventh largest export industry and third largest service sector. Latest forecasts from VisitBritain show that the number of overseas visitors to the UK is expected to rise this year to 36.7 million visits, up 3.8% on 2015, while spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach almost £23 billion this year, up 4.2% on 2015.