Anderson Retail Tourism Marketing recently announced the development of a new tourism marketing campaign for shopping centres, retailers, and restaurants located in and around London. The program is focused on increasing pre-arrival awareness, footfall, and sales by UK and international travelers to London who are enjoying more affordable travel packages and favorable exchange rates with the British Pound.
Similar programs have existed for over a decade in the US, where American retail and dining destinations promote special offers and activities to travel industry professionals including tour operators, meeting planners, ground handlers, and media, as well as consumers planning leisure and business trips throughout the US. One such program is managed by the Shop America Alliance, which promotes over 200 American shopping centers to travelers.
“Individually, shopping centers, retailers, and restaurants do not have the resources or budget to promote globally, yet tourism sales can account for a large percentage of their sales,” said Kathy Anderson, CMD, president of Anderson Retail Tourism Marketing and co-founder of the Shop America Alliance. “By working together to promote shopping and dining as part of visitors’ itineraries before they travel, research has shown that it increases the length of stay in a destination, as well as time spent shopping and the overall spend on shopping and dining purchases.”
The Shop & Dine London campaign draws on a variety of resources and marketing tactics to promote participating retailers and restaurants including an incentive program that offers travelers a “Visitor Passport Card,” which is presented at the establishments to receive special offers, gifts with purchase, or complimentary services such as shipping, package delivery, beauty makeovers, etc. Tour operators and travel agents provide their clients with a special voucher prior to their trip, which is then presented at designated redemption locations throughout London. In addition, travelers can also print a voucher from the Shop & Dine London website or download it to their mobile smart phone. Upon presenting a voucher, the visitor receives a printed travel guide outlining each participant’s location and amenities along with their Visitor Passport Card. The card is then presented upon arrival at the retailer or restaurant for their special offers.
The campaign plans to launch in March of 2010 and will be promoted in targeted UK feeder markets throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. “As a member of Visit London, we are looking forward to working with their sales and public relations team to promote the Shop & Dine London program to travel industry professionals via trade shows and sales missions,” said Ms. Anderson. “We will also have a strong online and mobile marketing aspect dedicated to directly reaching traveling consumers who research activities in their travel destination via the Internet prior to arrival.”