A new promotion by Visit England, the authority responsible for the development of English tourism, is to be co-funded by operators in the UK tourism industry.
Popular plasticine animation characters Wallace and Gromit will be fronting the government-backed campaign, which is to be known as ‘Great Adventure.’ It has a budget of £4 million, £2 million of which is in direct funding from the government. In addition, the campaign will be backed by a number of high street operators and travel agents who will be launching a range of holiday packages in the UK and offering £2 million in ‘in-kind’ support. The organisations involved will be announced soon.
From May 12, a television advert will be aired featuring Wallace and Gromit setting off to explore the UK’s finest destinations. The promotion has a duration of two months, and during that time the advert will also be run in cinema’s and on a range of other mass media formats. Meanwhile, activity by the tourism operators will continue until September. In addition to Visit England, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish tourist boards are also backing the promotion.
Nick Park, a director at Aardman Animations Ltd and the creator of Wallace and Gromit, commented, ‘Leisure time has always been very important to Wallace and Gromit, so it’s great to see them making this holiday choice.’
This latest campaign is the second phase of the ‘Holidays at Home are Great’ promotion that began last year. Commenting on the first phase, Hugh Robertson, the UK’s tourism minister, said, ‘The first instalment of the Holidays at Home campaign was a great success, generating growth of £300 million.’
Visit England, the official travel promotion agency for England, has reported that literary tours, Science adventures, historical tours and tours to movie sets will remain the favourite motivations for tourism to England in 2013.
Literary tours have see an increase in popularity, with 2013 being the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and 2012 being the bicentenary of Charles Dickens and the year of the World Shakespeare Festival. These tours typically offer visits to the literary figures’ residences and work places. Norwich is the first English city to be awarded a UNESCO City of Literature honour, and is only one of six cities in the world with that distinction.
History tours are an attraction for tourists, especially those tours that visit the darker pages of history, including Jack the Ripper walking tours of Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane in London, a Gangster Tour that involves a trip around London’s past criminal underworld with Stephen Marcu, and the newly opened, Blackpool Dungeons. The year 2013 will mark 125 years since Jack the Ripper was last at large in East London.
The year is also of special interest to tourists who are interested in science fiction tours, as 2013 marks 50 years of Doctor Who. Tourists will also be visiting the newly opened, Star Wars Miniland Experience at Legoland Windsor, the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, and The Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Visitors are also recommended to include a Warner Bros Studio Tour in their itinerary, featuring The Making of Harry Potter, which opened in 2012, and a visit to Pinewood Studios, where most of the James Bond films were shot, and where expansion plans are underway.