Spring 2011 will see VisitBritain embark on a major worldwide advertising campaign aiming to promote the UK as a luxury destination. The move comes as a result of research identifying the potential popularity of luxury, fairytale holidays amongst the world's high net worth individuals; the 10 million people with a bank balance in the millions.
Director of Strategy and Communications Patricia Yates said: "Britain is already regarded by many of the international jet-set as the original home of luxury, thanks to our centuries-old aristocratic traditions... while every country has 5-star hotels, luxurious spas, designer shops and championship golf courses, Britain stands out because it has the original world renowned luxury experiences and brands."
The report identified three tiers of tourist, with different tastes: gold, who want to show off their wealth; platinum, who are less ostentatious; and black luxury, who are so accustomed to the life of luxury they expect exclusivity and quality wherever they go, and have the freedom to do as they please.
As for general emerging trends that could draw high-end tourism to the UK, VisitBritain's research highlighted five main aspects:
First-hand culture: the cultural and historic attractions of the country can be experienced in style, for example with afternoon tea at a luxury hotel or a private box at the theatre.
Turning off: highly-stressed millionaires will be grateful for a relaxing holiday, with spa-style touches such as bathrobes and massages, personal staff and secluded locations.
The invisible guide: known as 'choreography' in the report, guests used to the finer things in life will expect their stay to be planned unobtrusively, with unexpected treats and surprises.
The fairytale: the legends and history of the British isles are especially attractive to tourists from Russia and China, who will be enchanted by magical locations and traditional activities.
Every whim: what could be more like a fairytale than being waited on hand and foot? The 'flow' holiday experience will need to do just that, with access to exclusive locations and on-a-whim adventures such as helicopter rides or whisky making.