Who’s bringing in the tourists? Photograph: jeshoots.com on Unsplash

We’ve been exploring how different regions in the UK are attracting inbound tourists. Here’s some of the varied approaches that seem to be working

The UK is attracting record numbers of overseas tourists.

A weaker pound and a surge of interest from Chinese visitors are two drivers of the upward trend.

But it can still be a challenge to encourage tourists away from London to other parts of the country. Here are a few of the innovative ways being used to market the regions.

Four varied approaches

1. Leverage an entertainment hit


Game Of Thrones is a worldwide television phenomenon. And much of the fantasy epic has been filmed in Northern Ireland.

That is about to draw to a close as the series nears its end. But work is underway to create a lasting Game Of Thrones legacy, with several of the locations being turned into tourism attractions.

There’s no doubt of the power of such an approach – see the many Harry Potter tourist trails still bringing in the business years after the last book and movie came out.

2. Tap into the power of art


The arrival of the new V&A museum in Dundee could create an ‘east coast arts scene’ that will attract more visitors to this region of Scotland.

That’s the strategy being adopted by Visit Aberdeenshire, with the aim of making tourism a £1 billion a year regional industry by 2023.

3. Make the most of your USP


It isn’t easy to become a World Heritage site. But the north of England is rich in location with the iconic UNESCO status.

In Cumbria they are working to maximise this potential by promoting the Northern World Heritage Collection, supported by the Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. They are particularly targeting US and Irish visitors.

4. Copy what works elsewhere


Across the world so-called ‘urban resorts’ are attracting thousands of people on city breaks and business trips.

And now one city is looking to become a British version of a Barcelona or a Boston. If Liverpool is marketed as the UK’s first urban resort, “I can see visitor numbers going stratospheric,” says developer Elliot Lawless.

 


If you are interested in our research into inbound tourism trends, contact Qa Research Richard Bryan, Managing Director: