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David Horby: Heavy investment on marketing London



David Horby, Commercial Director, Visit Britain, explains on TravelDailyNews the new strategy of promoting London as a tourism destination. Furthermore, emphases on the e-marketing and on the on line promotion of London.



Travel Daily News: What is your short and long term goal in marketing London?



David Horby: The next two – three years, we want to market London on both leisure and business sides. Our strategy is to develop the brand of London and to increase the accumulate benefits for London, by increasing tourism. In terms of delivering that, on the leisure side we do lots of working campaigns, advertising, on line marketing, etc. in the long haul such as USA, but also in the key European markets, as well. From the business side, in order to grow the business market, we are trying to get more people in front the product i.e. bring them to London, or to take the product out and make met the people over there. So, it is all about face-to-face sales activities. We are growing our team to look after the business sales within Visit London, from 7 people to 15, we are also doubling the budget. As a result, we have the ability to develop and host more trips to London, to host more sales missions to key markets, and to attend and also to run our own events on those key market. Also, we are trying to improve our position and to support our presentation to fairs like IMEX, EIBTM, and to take London on the road, by running road shows in cities like Brussels, Barcelona. We are doing that because it is very focused, for example in Barcelona 50 – 60 people came to see Visit London. People are not confused as they are in the big shows.



TDN: How do you market London on line?



DH: Visitlondon.com is our website, it is the official website with very detailed information about London. Any one can find information for any kind of trips, leisure or business, as well as retail shopping, restaurants, clubbing, everything. Furthermore, in order to promote our website, we are doing e-marketing, in the Europe for the moment, through media advisor; we are promoting it on many e-channels and also private sites, and we are developing a customer relationship strategy in terms of how to build a database of key buyers as a marketing tool.



TDN: Do you have any statistics for the performance of Visit London web site?



DH: Yes, we loaded the new consumer site at the end of September and the business site at the beginning of October, and since then during the campaigns that we are running both in Europe and in the UK VisitLondon.com was in terms of travel the second after lastminute.com in Europe. I believe VisitLondon.com became a European site overnight. Mid February, one Tuesday we had the second busiest day ever, with over 200.000 unique visitors in one day.



TDN: What do you believe for the Greek market? It is a business or leisure market for the Europe?



DH: Every European city has links with London. Actually, London is the home of finance in Europe; it is where more money travels through the London Stock Exchange, and in the London money markets, than anywhere else in the world. So, if you want to make business, play with money, and develop your financing then you have to deal with London. So, I think there is a relationship with key destinations like Athens, Madrid, Frankfurt, and Berlin.

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