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Britain rocks! as VisitBritain and EMI Music sign exclusive global partnership

London, 7 August 2007: Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, has announced an exclusive partnership with EMI Music. The agreement will help drive awareness of Britain as a tourist destination, highlight its world-renowned rock and pop music heritage and raise the profile of the musical appeal of its individual cities.

In the first partnership of its kind, VisitBritain and EMI offices around the globe will work together to market and promote a number of new releases by British EMI artists. EMI, as the only British major music company, is perfectly positioned to lend its name to the campaign, given its unrivalled heritage and legacy of British music.

Editorial about British artists will be seeded throughout www.visitbritain.com, with information on the towns and cities where they were formed or that inspired their music. The website will widen awareness of not only the great and the good of British music, but highlight new and emerging talent from England, Scotland and Wales. A key element of the partnership allows the 12 million potential visitors that use the website to download the soundtrack to their holiday from over 140,000 tracks from EMI’s catalogue.

Announcing the partnership, VisitBritain chief executive Tom Wright, says: “21% of potential visitors are inspired to choose a destination because of the music or bands of that country. British music and musicians, solo artists and bands are often someone’s first introduction to the unique appeals of this country. Our partnership with EMI Music will help us showcase the places behind the music and encourage them to visit.”

49% of potential visitors very likely to go to live music concerts or events and 23 million Brits (38%) already taking in a concert or festival in this country, according to VisitBritain’s research. Users of visitbritain.com will be able to read about their favourite artists and songs and then click through to download tracks.

Destination guides to London will remind potential travellers of the capital’s connections to Spandau Ballet, Madness and Culture Club, Lily Allen and Iron Maiden. As one of England’s best-connected music destinations, Liverpool is renowned as the birthplace of the Beatles, but is also home to the music of Atomic Kitten, Marc Almond, the Spice Girls’ Mel C, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black. Wales will feature Shirley Bassey and from Scotland, the likes of The Proclaimers, Simple Minds and KT Tunstall will help raise awareness.

Giles Harris, head of business development, EMI Music UK and Ireland, comments: “EMI’s catalogue of British music reads like a who’s who of the cream of contemporary British music, from The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Queen, to Radiohead, Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Gorillaz and Pet Shop Boys. We’re all so used to plugging in to our favourite music while on holiday, now visitors can download their favourite British tracks and indulge their senses for a thoroughly British holiday experience.”

2007 is shaping up to be the year of music tourism. VisitBritain’s England marketing division launched its massively successful England Rocks! campaign at the start of the year. EMI releases a three-disc CD to celebrate The Cavern Club’s golden anniversary containing 50 tracks from a who’s who of British popular music over the decades. As well as the Cavern’s 50th, 2007 saw the return of Glastonbury and the BRITS broadcast live for the first time in a number of years. The Who took their place in history when Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend received The South Bank Show’s outstanding achievement award after more than 40 years rocking the world, and The Police are to reform and tour to celebrate 30 years of their first hit ‘Roxanne’.

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