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Foreign Visitors Lured by British Music Scene

March 16, 2012 - London, United Kingdom

New research from VisitBritain reveals that overseas visitors can be enticed by our Grammy and BRIT Award winning music. This country’s recent musical successes on the domestic and global stage with the likes of Adele, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine and Tinie Tempah all flying the British flag overseas and helping attract some of the 31 million tourists who came to here last year.

In a survey of 20,000 overseas panellists, music was seen as being very much an integral part of Britain’s culture and heritage. 44% of those questioned felt that ‘Music’ was a cultural activity that they would expect to be ‘produced’ in Britain, with understandable variation across different inbound markets. In South Africa for instance, 64% of respondents associated the UK with producing music, something more than half of respondents in Sweden (58%), Canada (54%) and Australia (53%) agreed. China (25%) was the least likely of the 20 nations taking part in the survey to see a British connection(1, 2).

When questioning potential visitors about what musical activities they would like to undertake while in Britain, going on a Beatles tour in Liverpool was the most popular choice, with those from Argentina (23%), Mexico (19%) and Brazil (14%) the keenest participants. South Africans (13%), Poles (8%) and Chinese (6%) favoured heading to Glastonbury, while Indian (9%), South Korean (7%) visitors preferred a night at the opera in Cardiff.

The live music scene across the UK is something that many overseas visitors have experienced, with Brazilians the most active in this regard, with 15% taking in a performance.

They’re followed in this pursuit by the Kiwis (12%) and the Norwegians (11%). Visitors from Asian markets tend to make up a smaller proportion of live music buffs(3).

Research published last year by UK Music, the commercial music industry’s umbrella body, found that international music tourists attending large-scale live music events contribute at least £247million, which is around 18% of the market share.

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said: “Recent Grammy and BRIT Award success for Adele, along with the wide array of music on offer in Britain both past and present make our shores a global hub of musical activity which inspires the world. Music is one of the seven pillars of our £125million ‘GREAT Britain You’re Invited’ campaign, which is why commuters in Shanghai, Paris, New York, Sydney and Toronto will see our images reminding them of what GREAT music and cultural experiences they can have when they are here.
“Visitors have a wide array of ‘live’ music to sample during a trip to Britain, be it the Proms at Royal Albert Hall, one of our hundreds of outdoor music festivals, our thriving club scene, or even taking in the longest running musical in the world - Les Misérables. Music transcends all boundaries and you don’t need to be fluent in English to enjoy and be passionate about one of our hottest export industries.”

UK music industry revenues totalled £3.8 billion in 2010, with UK artists accounting for almost 12 per cent of global music sales. Britain is the second largest exporter of music in the world - of the eight artists who have sold over 300 million records worldwide, four of them are British - The Beatles, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Queen. Adele is leading the current crop of British sales – her ‘21’ album has sold nearly 20 million copies worldwide and enjoyed an amazing 23 week run at number one on the Billboard 200, a feat which makes this the longest running number one album by a female artist in Billboard history. For over a year the album has never left the top 10 of the highly influential chart.

The London 2012 closing ceremony has officially been called "A Symphony of British Music" with an entirely British cast of high profile performers and music set to feature. World renowned UK live events, theatre and TV choreographer Kim Gavin will oversee the Olympic and Paralympic Closing Ceremonies.

For further information please contact David Leslie on 020 7578 1141 or Mark Di-Toro on 020 7578 1098.

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Notes to Editors

1) Each year VisitBritain sponsors questions on the Anholt-GfK Nations Brand Index (NBI), a survey conducted annually across 20 major developed and developing countries, with at least 1,000 interviews per country. It is seen as an important indicator of how countries are regarded by the public, both domestically and internationally.

2) Findings from our NBI questions also show that nearly six-in-ten of those in Sweden and South Africa expect to see Britain producing ‘Pop videos’ compared with an overall average of 35%. ‘Opera’ appeared the lowest when looking at types of music expected to be produced in Britain, with slightly fewer than three-in-ten respondents considering this to be an activity produced in Britain.

3) Each year VisitBritain asks questions on the International Passenger Survey (IPS) about the types of activities that visitors undertake when in the UK. In this case, we asked visitors about “going to live music events”. Questions on the IPS can range from anything such as attending sporting events to visiting national parks to spending time in a pub.

4) For an overview of VisitBritain’s research on the importance of music to inbound tourism, go to:

5) To read UK Music’s report go to:

6) British music is GREAT. Did you know:
-- In the United States, UK acts accounted for one in 10 (9.8 per cent) of every artist album sold in 2010; it was one in seven in Canada.
-- In March 2011, UK acts (Adele, Mumford & Sons and Marsha Ambrosius) held the top three positions in the US Billboard Album Chart, for the first time in 25 years.
-- In 2010, the UK live music market generated revenues worth an estimated £1.48 billion.
-- The UK has led the way in staging music festivals. In 1970, entry to Glastonbury was just £1 and included free milk from the local farm. It is now the number one music festival in the world, entertaining 175,000 fans. ‘T in the Park’ in Scotland, Reading/Leeds, and Download at Donington Park are all in the world’s top twenty festivals. Other key music festivals across Britain include Belladrum (Inverness-shire), Bestival (Isle of Wight), Eden Sessions (Cornwall), End of the Road (Dorset), Green Man (Brecon Beacons) and Summer Sundae (Leicester).

-- The Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms are listed in the world’s top ten classical festivals.
-- British-produced musical ‘Phantom of the Opera’ has been performed over 10,000 times in London’s West End in a 25-year run. It has grossed £3.2 billion at the box office worldwide - more than films like Titanic or Star Wars - been performed in 145 cities in 27 countries, won 60 major awards and had over 20,000 performances across the US.
-- The longest running musicals staged on New York’s Broadway are British. Phantom of the Opera has been performed 9,913 times, Cats, 7,485 times and Les Misérables 6,680 times.

7) VisitBritain and UK Music are to embark on a joint venture which will see the music industry ‘pull together’ and send VisitBritain their favourite images from concerts, gigs, venues and festivals. The best will then be chosen and used to promote Britain’s GREAT music scene across our key global markets.

About VisitBritain

VisitBritain is the national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s visitor economy.

A non-departmental public body, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we work with partners in the UK and overseas to ensure that Britain is marketed in an inspirational and relevant way around the world. Our partners include government agencies such as UKTI and British Council, airlines and operators, global brands such as Samsung and the English Premier League as well as the official tourism bodies for London, England, Scotland and Wales.

Follow us on Twitter @VisitBritainBiz for statistics, latest news and opportunities.

Source: Business Wire India


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