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Foot and Mouth Disease, England: Crisis Recovery Marketing Plan

ClientFoot and Mouth Disease

English Tourism Council (now Visit England) - 2001


An outbreak of foot and mouth disease had effectively closed down large parts of rural Britain to visitors. However media messages exaggerated the extent of the closures. Consequently, people were unsure as to what was open and where they could go. In fact Britain was far more open than the impression gained from the media. Tourism businesses were beginning to suffer badly. It was therefore important to reduce this confusion and let people know how much of the countryside was open, so that they would start travelling again within England.


  • Tom Buncle was appointed to lead a marketing campaign to reassure people that England remained largely open and to encourage people to travel again within England
  • A marketing campaign was swiftly developed with commercial partners to stimulate English domestic tourism
  • A core element of the campaign was to provide customer contact points, including a dedicated telephone line, for people to obtain credible, up-to-the minute information on the situation


  • Domestic tourism in England gradually recovered, albeit at different rates in different areas.
  • Clear up-to-date information about the situation was included with tourism marketing messages. This helped counter misleading messages in the media about the extent of countryside that was closed to visitors. It also helped to build public trust in the marketing messages.
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