Promoting Canterbury in London


Canterbury is Kent’s best known visitor destination, attracting over 7 million visitors a year from the UK and internationally. Canterbury is first and foremost a historic city; visitors come to see its heritage and to enjoy spending time in its historic setting. The city is also home to two Universities and has a strong cultural offering. The visitor and knowledge economies are the two main sectors for the city. These sectors shape the rhythm of Canterbury, how it looks, how it feels and how it works as a place. We need To attract more visitors to stay for a leisure short break in the city and to drive higher spend through longer stays and even out seasonal fluctuations of visits across the year.

To realise its potential we need to position the city strongly in the face of tough competition from other UK destinations including other historic cities. In order to do this we need to work collaboratively on marketing activity to achieve greater impact with best prospect markets.

As part of the Collaborative Marketing Programme, Canterbury became a key partner in Visit Kent’s London Kent Contemporary Campaign in 2016. This is a gateway to closer working with Visit England and Visit Britain, and should increase Canterbury’s visibility in key international markets as well as in London.

Kent Contemporary Campaign


Kent Contemporary is Visit Kent’s annual brand campaign that aims to reposition the destination as the Garden of England for the 21st century, building on awareness of what the county and its core heritage strengths has to offer whilst being able to surprise and delight in new ways. It is executed using powerful advertising images for Kent across London and the South East’s rail and tube network, and is supported by associated PR, social media, and corporate comms activity. To take a look at the images used previously click here.

Independent research demonstrated that the Kent Contemporary campaign has delivered 57:1 return on investment (excluding Kent residents) and when including Kent residents, it generated an additional 46,814 visitor nights and 560,360 day trips worth £21,953,300. Over five years, this campaign has helped shift non-visitors’ propensity to visit Kent by 15% thereby achieving the campaign’s goal to enhance the county’s image and drive incremental revenue.

Working with leading creative agency, M&C Saatchi, the campaign featured striking imagery with the Visit Kent branding on London outdoor and digital media, targeting London audiences to inspire them to take more day trips and short breaks to Kent. The campaign allowed partners to use media that they could not afford on their own, and also gain extra opportunities for exposure and access further distributions channels.

2016 results summary

  • The transvision, outdoor and digital media panels delivered 26.5million impressions
  • Digital promotions received 77,800 clicks
  • Paid and organic social media promotions reached 3million people
  • More than 612,000 visits to during the campaign
  • 62,000 visits to the campaign page, 2nd most visited page on the website during campaign
  • Over 90,000 visits to partners’ pages via campaign webpage
  • 5,000 entries to three competitions
  • 85% increase in press coverage value and 6.7m reach
  • 24% of people surveyed have visited or plan to visit Kent as a result of the campaign

To read the full report, click here.