The British Invasion of 2011


Carl Walsh and John McMahon

Almost 50 years ago, the British music invasion hit our native shores, bringing with it a storm of rock ’n’ roll music and infusion of young culture, which has yet to ebb (see American Idol!). While the culture shift may have turned Britons’ famously stiff upper lips into smiles, it certainly made many Americans go and indulge in this new experience.

Fast forward: The Brits are at it again. This time with William and Kate leading the way, with a showcase that Walt Disney could not reproduce in any fairy tale. This one was real, and made every man think what it would be like to be a king and every woman wish she were a queen.

In this story, there is no glass slipper. However, in today’s world of “anything is possible,” many travelers are making their way to Great Britain to dream a little themselves and experience high society. And, as the aftermath of the royal wedding slows down, the next set of dreamers will invade Britain to experience the ultimate sports event: the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

The question you must be asking yourself is, “How do I prepare my business for this invasion?” The answer: Become a Brit Agent Specialist. This month, VisitBritain has launched a comprehensive training program that will enable you to sell Great Britain with the knowledge and confidence needed to win over any potential traveler. Make note: You can gain access at

At left is Carl Walsh, regional director of travel trade and business tourism (Americas) for VisitBritain, and myself celebrating in front of an English-style phone booth. I can tell you this: After you take this course and your phone rings with clients on the other end, you too will be ready for the next British invasion.

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