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Britain - 9/11 US Terrorist Attacks: Crisis Recovery Campaign

Crisis Recovery Campaign  in USA, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland

Client9-11 tribute_in_light

 British Tourist Authority (now Visit Britain) and 31 partners – 2002


Global tourism appeared to be heading for freefall following the terrorist attacks in the USA on Sept 11 2001. This threatened the livelihoods of thousands in the UK and the destruction of many businesses in tourism and other sectors reliant on inbound tourism. Cooperation was required on a scale as never before by the UK inbound tourism industry.


  • British tourism officials and businesses reacted swiftly to address the need for recovery with a "Million Visitor Campaign"
  • Tom Buncle was appointed to lead a team of 12 people to recover 1 million visitors to Britain from 7 countries (USA, Canada, Germany, France Holland, Belgium and Ireland)
  • 31 partners were recruited to co-fund and work together on the recovery campaign  (including British Airways; P & O Ferries; British Airports Authority; Avis; BMI; Hilton, Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Accor, Best Western, De Vere, Millenium Copthorne, Travel Inn, Queens Moat House, Radisson Edwardian, Red Carnation, Thistle, and Jarvis Hotels; the Savoy Group; British Hospitality Association; Passenger Shipping Association; Seafrance; DFDS Seaways; American Express; National Express; English Tourism Council; Visit Scotland; Wales Tourist Board; Heart of England Tourist Board; London Tourist Board and Convention Bureau)
  • A highly innovative marketing campaign was swiftly developed under the banner “Only in Britain, Only in 2002”
  • A mix of TV advertising, PR, direct marketing and e-marketing highlighted the unique features of Britain in 2002 in 7 countries
  • A website was developed to give British SMEs immediate access to international markets. Over 3,000 holiday offers were distributed through this site in the campaign's first 3 months
  • The TV advertisement aired in the USA included a personal invitation from Prime Minister Tony Blair to visit Britain


  • Tourism to Britain from the USA recovered 16% faster than to the rest of Europe in 2002
  • The Million Visitor Campaign was a textbook example of the government, the tourist boards and the private sector working in partnership towards a common goal. …………….The campaign generated an additional 1.1 million visitors and additional revenue to Britain of £518m which was an extremely good investment for Britain plc.” 
  • (UK Tourism Alliance Annual Report 2004)
  • Britain was seen to be both astute and innovative in its attempts to recover tourism, one of its most vital industries
  • The "Million Visitor Campaign" has been used as a model of good practice for tourism destinations in crisis
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