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VisitEngland launches 'Holidays at Home are GREAT'
Published on 09/03/2012

VisitEngland Launches Biggest Ever Domestic Tourism Marketing Campaign with Thousands of Special Offers

VisitEngland, the national tourist board together with the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture Media, Sport and the Olympics, today launched ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ – the biggest ever domestic tourism campaign aimed at boosting tourism throughout the UK.

Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery star in the exciting new TV ad due to air on 8 March. The TV ad encourages viewers to visit www.great2012offers.com, a website where consumers can take advantage of thousands of special deals offering 20.12% off or more, and other great offers, on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, events and transport. The launch was hosted at one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the capital, the EDF Energy London Eye in association with the Merlin Entertainments Group, a key partner in the campaign.

The campaign, led by VisitEngland, and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; will showcase the country and highlight the key events taking place including the Torch Relay, the Cultural Festival and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The £5m campaign is aimed at inspiring UK residents to take a holiday at home during this unprecedented year and mitigate against a potential Olympic sag in the domestic market.

The campaign includes 2.5m accommodation nights and has been supported by hundreds of tourism businesses up and down the country including national hotel chains: De Vere, Marriott, Travelodge, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels; Hoseasons Group, Bourne Leisure, and Accor to name a few. Attractions giant, Merlin is offering 25% off on their Annual Pass and other attractions such as The Eden Project, Chatsworth House and The National Maritime Museum are on board offering fantastic experiences at 20.12% off. Thomas Cook, is also participating with some great value offers for UK breaks.02

Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt said:

"2012 is going to be a year like no other in our history with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics. With so much going on, this is the perfect time to make the most of the UK and take your holiday, long weekend or short break here. The 20.12% campaign has got thousands of fantastic offers to make holidaying at home affordable this year and the advert really does show off what’s great about the UK."

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said:

"This is the largest domestic tourism campaign ever undertaken and aims to inspire UK residents to take advantage of the fantastic events taking place in the country this year. We have thousands of offers up and down the country which means a family can enjoy great deals on accommodation, meals, and tickets to attractions at very affordable prices. Now is the time to holiday at home – there is no comparison anywhere else in the world with what’s on offer here in the UK this year."

In addition to the main advertisement, a series of additional 10 second destination adverts will be aired. In return for £100,000, to be match funded by VisitEngland, Blackpool, Skegness, Yorkshire, Liverpool, will be showcased as part of the campaign.

The Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign is part of VisitEngland’s 3 year marketing strategy worth £24million. The overall marketing programme seeks to generate an additional 5.3m short break nights in England with an incremental spend of £480m by 2015,

Notes to Editors

  • The website will be live on the 7 March to coincide with the TV advertisement.
  • The home nation tourist boards include: VisitScotland, VisitWales and Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
  • The TV ad will run for 2 months and will reflect the GREAT branding launched late last year by the Prime Minister.
  • The campaign is funded by £5million of additional funding from the Government’s Olympic Executive.

The Numbers (at the date of launch)

  • 2.5 million accommodation nights have been provided by 2597 hotels from 22 national hotel chains.
  • 867 independent accommodation providers have also committed offers.
  • 354 attractions are include
  • 202 other experiences including spas and restaurants are included
  • 42 holidays are included from companies like Butlins, Warner and Haven

About VisitEngland

  • VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors
  • Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics
  • VisitEngland markets England under the Enjoy England consumer brand in the domestic market and markets England under the VisitEngland brand internationally

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