Business Advice

International Marketing

International visitor numbers are expected to continue to rise post-covid, with VisitBritain forecasting 35.1m visits in 2023 (+18% on 2022) and a visitor spend of £29.5bn (+14% on 2022). And with overseas tourists seeking new experiences and lesser known destinations, inbound tourism is a priority in the government’s tourism recovery plan and provides a significant growth opportunity for the county and wider region.

Targeting international markets has never been easier, and in this section you will find information and resources to help your business grow its overseas customers.

Target markets for the county

Based on accessible transport links and consumer interests that match the county’s offer, Visit County Durham's core target markets for overseas marketing are:

Short haul

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Netherland flag


Long haul  

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China flag


Target segment
The best prospect global segment to support inbound tourism recovery, identified by Visit Britain, is the Experience Seeker, due to their love for discovering something new, passion for travel and willingness to spend on experiences.

By focussing on markets and segments with the greatest propensity to visit, Visit County Durham ensures that the marketing activity it undertakes is targeted and provides the greatest return on investment.

Strategic marketing partnerships
Visit County Durham is part of a number of strategic overseas marketing partnerships to ensure the activity we undertake is appropriate and effective.

Partnerships include:

  • Visit Britain
  • England’s Historic Cities
  • Newcastle International Airport
  • Port of Tyne
  • Marketing Manchester
  • National Coastal Tourism Academy

Attracting inbound visitors

Business resources
Visit Britain provides a dedicated online resource hub featuring useful information and insights on attracting inbound visitors, including:

  • Inbound tourism toolkit
  • Understanding international visitors
  • International tourist data

The Visit Britain online research hub provides the latest data and insights on how inbound tourism is performing, trends, conditions impacting tourism and Britain’s competitiveness.

Taking England to the World is a free trade education programme, delivered by Visit Britain, which provides businesses with information on how to target overseas visitors and get international-ready. A schedule of virtual sessions is delivered throughout the year, and in Autumn 2023 Visit County Durham will host a dedicated face-to-face workshop for Partners.


TXGB (Tourism Exchange Great Britain)
is a global distribution platform, developed in partnership with VisitEngland. Getting overseas visibility and bookability for a business can be a challenge, but through the TXGB platform businesses are able to reach new customers in new markets. It is free to join and links with many existing booking platforms.

For further information:
Inbound tourism research - Lucy Wearne, Project and Research Manager
Overseas marketing - Sarah Johnson, Marketing and Communications Manager
Training and TXGB -