LONDON: The British Tourist Authority (BTA) has launched a
three-tiered campaign to woo visitors in the wake of the country's foot
and mouth disease crisis.
The UK government's Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions
(DETR) has also initiated a tourism program, specifically to attract
people back to the country. The DETR campaign will feature advertising,
PR and a help line that is being manned in partnership with the tourism
BTA began providing would-be visitors with reassurance and information
on the disease two weeks ago. BTA's Web site (www.visitbritain. com)
includes a database of about 7,000 UK attractions with information about
their current accessibility. BTA's senior directors have appeared on
American TV, including ABC, NBC and CNN.
Potential tourists in the US have been confused about the disease.
'Americans call it 'hoof-and-mouth' and when they heard 'foot-and-mouth'
there was an assumption being made that it was hand-foot-and-mouth
disease, which can affect humans,' said Elliott Fisby, a BTA press
'We are now tending to say 'hoof-and-mouth' in American markets.'
The government will provide about pounds 10 million (dollars 14 million)
in funding for the next two stages of the campaign, which will focus on
mid- and long-term tourist improvement. Fisby said BTA is considering
retaining a PR agency.