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VisitBritain and Bristol Airport Announce Partnership to Promote the South West

Created: 25th Sep 2017

Regional Gateway initiative targets overseas visitors

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The UK’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, and Bristol Airport have announced a three-year partnership to promote South West England to overseas visitors.  The joint marketing fund will focus on France in year one, working with airline partners to build on the strong existing network from Bristol Airport, which is currently served by scheduled services to 13 French cities. 

Destination management organisations across the region will have the opportunity to get involved, with Destination Bristol taking a co-ordinating role in bringing together local knowledge and compelling content to ensure campaigns stand out in the competitive international tourism market.

Bristol Airport is the largest airport serving the UK’s South West, with non-stop flights to more than 120 destinations – more than half of which are not directly linked from any other airport in the region.  The South West features globally famous tourist attractions including Stonehenge and the World Heritage City of Bath, as well as stunning countryside and coastline.  Bristol itself is a centre for street art (and the home of Banksy) and all are within convenient reach of Bristol Airport, helping to generate more than a million journeys by overseas residents every year and supporting an estimated 5,000 jobs across the region.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director at Bristol Airport, said:
“By teaming up with VisitBritain we aim to spread the word to potential international visitors about the wonderful part of the world on our doorstep.  Research tells us that visitors flying directly into the South West stay in the region for longer and spend more than those who arrive through other gateways, which is good news for tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and other local businesses.  With Bristol Airport serving as the sole entry point to the South West for over 60 European cities, this partnership is a great opportunity for the whole region to work together with VisitBritain to add even more value to the visitor economy.”

VisitBritain Commercial Director Carol Dray said:
“Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, worth £127 billion annually to the economy. Increasing regional connectivity not only makes it easier for visitors to see more of Britain and the South West, it boosts economic growth, and helps keep us an attractive destination in this fiercely competitive global market.”

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to provide positive first impressions to passengers visiting the UK. 

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site.  As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West over the next two decades.  The views of customers, employees, neighbour and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the Airport’s vision for the future.

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