Experience Oxfordshire, the county’s Destination Management Organisation, has shared the results of its autumn/winter marketing campaign – backed by funding secured by OxLEP – in advance of launching its spring into summer programme.
Only in Oxfordshire, showcased the hospitality, attractions and retail opportunities available across the county and positioned Oxfordshire as the perfect destination for a short break during the autumn and winter months.
The campaign ran for three months with the objective of maintaining and improving visibility of the county, initially amongst domestic audiences likely to be considering an off-season break and then expanding activity to include families during the festive season.
Running across multiple digital channels and featuring specially commissioned photography and video, 10.9 million individuals engaged with the campaign, the videos generated 440,000 views and there were 104,000 visits to the campaign web pages.
In addition, the campaign featured extensive coverage using well-known influencers and social media channels alongside a targeted data capture campaign with The Telegraph, all to ensure Oxfordshire is front of mind as a visitor destination.
Commenting on the results, Hayley Beer-Gamage, Experience Oxfordshire’s CEO, said: “This was the first of the three strategic marketing campaigns Experience Oxfordshire has been commissioned to deliver as part of the Visitor Economy Renaissance Programme. Despite welcome signs of recovery, and encouraging forecasts for this year, the visitor economy in Oxfordshire is still performing some 36% below the levels achieved in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
“Tourism is a competitive sector and Experience Oxfordshire’s work is vital to ensure that the county is kept top of mind, not only amongst potential visitors looking for a domestic short break or holiday, but also with the rising numbers of international visitors returning to the UK.
“In our next campaign we will include a deeper focus on the fantastic programme of events offered across Oxfordshire during the spring and into summer which we know is a major draw not only for our domestic market but for our main international markets too.”
The campaign engaged with businesses across all of Oxfordshire with creative content and legacy assets available for each district area as well as the county overall.
Experience Oxfordshire was commissioned to deliver the campaign by OxLEP under their Visitor Economy Renaissance Programme, which supports the sector’s ongoing re-emergence from Covid-19. Funding for the programme was secured via Oxfordshire County Council’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund.
Helen Ryan-Wallis – Programme Manager (Strategy) at OxLEP – said: “It’s welcoming to see such positive results from the first Only in Oxfordshire campaign developed by Experience Oxfordshire, ensuring the county maintains its position as one of the most-desirable destinations for local, national and international visitors. Such activity is essential in preserving the economic value generated from this.
“As the local enterprise partnership for Oxfordshire, we remain committed to working with our destination management organisation partners as well as supporting our world-class visitor economy – our recent visitor economy grant scheme directed just over £660,000 into Oxfordshire businesses who either operate in, or support tourism and visitor experiences, with companies from right across the county benefiting from the investment.
“127 businesses from across Oxfordshire were promoted as part of the first Only in Oxfordshire campaign and we would encourage businesses operating within the visitor economy and related sectors to engage with future commissioned campaigns, delivered by Experience Oxfordshire, and to support the Only in Oxfordshire initiative."
OxLEP-funded campaigns will continue through to March 2024 and businesses interested in having an Only in Oxfordshire web-listing are invited to contact [email protected].