Britain’s GREAT campaign and how it’s continuing to improve the country’s tourism industry
In 2013, worldwide figures showed that China had the most number of tourists traveling the globe. Reportedly, more than 97 million Chinese nationals visited other countries, collectively spending more than £60 billion in the process.
This status may have been helped by the fact that the country is aggressively promoting its tourism industry. In fact, it had just opened airport, the Daocheng Yading, last year. Not only does this grant flight access to people in the more remote regions of Tibet, but the airport itself is also touted to be the highest in the world, sure to add to its tourism value.
This outburst of Chinese tourists is significant not just because the country was notoriously travel-shy just a few generations ago, but also because it has the most number of people (i.e. potential visitors) in the world. If there ever was a better time for any country to promote itself as visit-worthy, that time would be now.
One of these countries making proper preparations would be the UK. With its government allocating another £90 million to its GREAT tourism campaign, plans are underway with the hopes of seeing a 4.2% increase in industry profits by 2014’s end. An article on parking4less.com’s Heathrow parking page also reports on Heathrow Airport nearing its plans to open a second terminal by June, further cementing the UK’s dedicated stance on the tourism project.
The GREAT campaign is now in the middle of its third year, and even without the increased publicity of 2012’s one-two punch of the London Summer Olympics and the release of the 23rd James Bond film Skyfall, Britain is still very much a prime destination for tourists looking for a mix of the urban modern with the awe-inspiring ancient.
Visitors can opt to check out Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans in 122 AD to protect its Britannia colony from invaders. Visitors eager to see the whole length of the wall can make use of a path that stretches all the way from Wallsend to Browness-on-Solway.
Going to the middle ages, there’s Warwick Castle, whose foundations were lain by no less than William the Conqueror himself in 1068. There’s also York Minster, a pristine example of gothic architecture. Its Great East Window, in particular, is noteworthy as the largest medieval-era stained glass in the world.
And then, of course, there are the usual-but-no-less amazing stopovers like Big Ben, Stonehenge, the Windsor Castle, Tower Bridge, and many more, all of which carry significant cultural value.
On the more modern side of things, 007 fans will be thrilled to experience that opening scene from The World is Not Enough where Her Majesty’s intrepid agent plied the River Thames on a one-seater prototype speedboat. Although they won’t quite get to ride on Q’s supposed retirement gift, the Thames RIB experience does offer something similarly close: 400-horsepower speedboats able to accommodate many people, speeding by many landmarks along the riverbanks.
Getting back on dry land, the Tate Modern has to be visited, if only to see what makes it the world’s most popular modern art museum. Seeing more than 5 million visits a year, an expansion is currently being planned to begin in 2016.
Taking visual cues from San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid is the Shard. Apart from offices, apartments, posh restaurants, and even a branch of the Shangri-La Hotels, there’s also an observation deck at the top that takes advantage of the building’s status as the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe.
With all these landmarks and more acting as the backbones behind Britain’s GREAT campaign, things are definitely looking up for the UK’s tourism trade.