VisitBritain hands top marketing job to Croft

VisitBritain has promoted Joss Croft to director of marketing with the goal of driving the UK's global profile and building on the success of 2012.

VisitBritain has promoted Joss Croft to director of marketing with the goal of driving the UK's global profile and building on the success of 2012.

Croft has held the position in all but title since director of marketing Laurence Bresh left in September to join STA Travel.

Following an eventful year in the UK that included the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Torch Relay, and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Croft wants to "convert" the attention the country has received into hard tourism numbers.

“The eyes of the world have been on Britain,” he said. “The question now is how we start to convert that and work with our commercial partners to get the offers out there and bring business to Britain."

VisitBritain's “Great” campaign is running in 21 markets, and Croft said it can be “tweaked” to take advantage of the current “zeitgeist,” a method previously used with the group's James Bond-related work. In addition, VisitBritain's focus on seeding digital content has racked up 9 million views across its VisitBritain TV site.

Croft is tasked with helping to bring an additional 9 million visitors to the UK by 2020 while ensuring the country does not suffer a post-Olympic tourism dip.

“We are potentially going to be the first nation to have bucked the trend for displacement for an Olympic year,” he said.

However, he stressed that the body only had visitor figures for up to September.

“We have delivered against our objectives and ambitions, but we can't be complacent,” he added. “Where previous host nations have fallen down  is [by] not investing as much after their Games to convert the interest that they have delivered."

VisitBritain will continue to work with its commercial partners in 2013, including P&O Cruises, easyJet, Hostelworld, and British Airways, “to get closer to the customer.”

Croft called VisitBritain's joint campaign with British Airways a “marketing coup” that has "taken forward" the marketing body's long-standing "you're invited" work into a new awareness campaign with “the big British invite” tagline.

This article originally appeared on the website of Marketing, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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