Famous names front VisitEngland campaign to promote UK tourism

Last night VisitEngland’s highly anticipated “Holidays at Home are Great” advertising campaign graced our screens. 

The £5million campaign features some of Britain’s well known stars including: Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, Harry Potter stars Rupert Grint and Julie Walters, and icon Stephen Fry. 

The country’s biggest campaign hopes to channel the power of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to inspire Britons to take a holiday at home. 

Brits are encouraged by the four celebrities to explore the UK, and the advert finishes with: “No passports. No jabs. No visas. No Euros. No wonder holidays at home are so great”. 

The Government hope that VisitEngland’s tourism drive will stop British holidaymakers travelling abroad during the year, as research has found that nations which host the Olympics often experience a ‘sag’ in domestic tourism. 

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, media, sport and the Olympics said: “This is the first time we’ve had a national domestic tourism marketing campaign. 

It is completely measurable – we will know how many nights are booked as a result of this campaign”. 

The advert allows holidaymakers to save 20.12 per cent on bookings for accommodation, restaurants, attractions, events and transport via the website: www.great2012offers.com. 

He added: “As an industry and as a Government, we will know whether this type of campaign works and what the return on investment is. 

That in itself will provide an important template going forward in terms of upping our game in marketing”. 

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Beresford believes that the new campaign will create 12,500 jobs and generate an extra £80 million in domestic spend. 

However ABTA the Travel Association have criticised the campaign, stating that it favours domestic tourism over the struggling international tourism market. 

Mark Tanzer, CEO of ABTA said: “We are very concerned that the Government is sponsoring a marketing campaign that appears to actively discourage UK holidaymakers from taking a foreign break. I’m sure the public want to make up their own mind about where to go on holiday”.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh