VisitEngland enters rural phase of promotional campaign

VisitEngland, the tourist board that is responsible for promoting tourism in England, has entered the next phase of its current marketing campaign.

The multi-channel campaign, which is intended to boost domestic tourism during the coming year by promoting short breaks, is now concentrating on England’s rural attractions. It is part of VisitEngland’s three-year, ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ project, and follows the previous segment of the campaign, which had the country’s beaches and coastline as its theme.

There will be six interlinked promotions during the campaign, which has been running since January and will come to an end in March. The key themes that are spread across the six segments are countryside, coast, heritage and culture. The message promoted during this ‘rural’ phase will be of England’s wealth of rural diversity. It will showcase the country’s chocolate box villages, historic country towns and the rolling hills and valleys that surround them.

Partnerships with newspapers The Guardian, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will form part of the campaign, along with promotions on network radio stations, digital and social media formats including Facebook competitions, video promotions, and promotion on the organisation’s website.

Funding for the ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ promotion, which is costing GBP19.8 million in total, is coming partly from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund. In return, it is expected that GBP420 million will be generated in additional domestic tourism between 2012 and 2015, due to a greater number of UK residents taking the lead in booking holidays and short breaks in England. It is also hoped that an additional 9,100 jobs will be created in the local tourism industry by March 2015, as a knock-on effect of the boost to the industry.

VisitEngland chief executive, James Berresford, said, ‘This exciting campaign is one of several launching this year with the aim of growing tourism in England. The campaign aims to inspire UK residents explore our green and pleasant land, and take a short break in one of England’s most beautiful rural destinations.’


National Trust members reach 4 million

Membership of the national trust has soared to four million for the first time ever.


The trust was created in 1895 when it had just one hundred members, and a years membership cost ten shillings.


The National Trust now look after an impressive 700 miles of coastline, 300 historic houses and more than 600,000 acres of land.


Membership totalled one million in 1981, two million in 1990 and reached three million in 2002.


The trust gave £120 million in support to ‘vital’ conservation projects across the whole of the UK. Around 90 million visits were made to National Trust countryside spots last year alone.


Dame Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, said: ‘Whether it’s a love for their local place, a passion for anything from surfing to fine art, or simply the joy of spending family time together – there’s clearly a growing hunger for what we have to offer.’


She added: ‘In England you are never more than 40 minutes away from somewhere looked after by the National Trust.


‘From the smallest sculleries and garden grottos to towering castle turrets and the wild expanses of Lake District countryside, the National Trust enables everyone to enjoy these beautiful, intriguing and exciting places forever.’


She said the Trust owed a ‘massive thank you’ to members for their support.

She added: ‘We were set up 116 years ago to look after special places so that they could be enjoyed by all. Clearly that founding aim remains as relevant today as it was then.’