CAMPAIGNS: LTB promotes the capital as tourist centre - Tourism PR

Client: London Tourist Board and Convention Bureau PR Team: In-house and Lisa Denning Communications Campaign: Launch of Totally London Timescale: Ongoing from January 2003 Budget: £700,000 over four months for advertsing, promotions and PR

In January the London Tourist Board and Convention Bureau (LTB) launched Totally London to promote the capital on behalf of the London Development Agency.

This is LTB's largest ever campaign and part of a £7m public funding package to boost London's tourism industry, unveiled by mayor Ken Livingstone last September.

With economic and international uncertainty deterring long-haul visitors to the UK, LTB focused its first marketing push on encouraging domestic visitors to London.

Objectives

To promote the cultural diversity of London and its attractions as an affordable seasonal break. The PR team was also keen to support the campaign's advertising messages and drive traffic to the various promotions and discounts on offer at the LTB website, www.visitlondon.com.

Strategy and Plan

The first phase supported an existing campaign by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), which offered 2-for-1 deals on various London attractions, theatre and hotel packages.

To build awareness and secure buy-in for the overall campaign from the tourism industry, LTB held an event at the Royal Opera House. Here, LTB partners were encouraged to devise promotional offers for the visitlondon.com website and use the Totally London creative in their own marketing materials.

Details of the initiative were also released to the marketing and travel trade press.

In early March, the campaign launched to consumers nationwide, with a low-key media event at City Hall. To attract interest from regional media, the PR team released its Totally London survey results, examining what overseas and domestic visitors - and Londoners - thought were typical London experiences.

This was supported by a Totally London visual, featuring the British Museum and a series of media promotions.

Measurement and Evaluation

The industry launch was reported by the marketing and travel trade press, while the consumer launch had coverage in The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph. Regional interest ranged from BBC London to the Cambridge Evening News and Glasgow Evening Times.

Media promotions are ongoing to Easter, however Lisa Denning exceeded targets, selling in competitions and offers to ten national magazines, including OK! and the Radio Times, 20 regional newspapers and 14 regional radio stations.

Results

Success will be measured on how far the tourism industry gets further involved and the number of promotional offers taken up by consumers. By the end of March, 11,000 people had visited the ATOC page on the visitlondon.com website.

Overseas markets are likely to be targeted, in particular the US, France, Germany and Japan.

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