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UK-wide campaign to boost domestic breaks ramps up as summer holidays get underway

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The summer campaign ‘Escape the Everyday – Enjoy the UK this Summer’ has a focus on cities and city attractions as well as regional gateways which have been hit particularly hard by the lack of international visitors and that rely on their spending.

VisitEngland in partnership with the tourism organisations of London, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is stepping-up its UK-wide ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign to drive domestic day trips and overnight breaks as the summer holidays begin.

The ‘Escape The Everyday’ campaign, first launched in September 2020, highlights the quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across the UK to build back demand for domestic breaks and boost consumer confidence as restrictions lift.

The summer campaign ‘Escape the Everyday – Enjoy the UK this Summer’ has a focus on cities and city attractions as well as regional gateways which have been hit particularly hard by the lack of international visitors and that rely on their spending.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "There is so much to see and do in our vibrant towns, cities and villages across all corners of the United Kingdom and we want people to make the most of our tourism offer and rediscover summer safely. It's been a challenging period for our brilliant tourism and hospitality businesses but they're ready to welcome us back and I encourage people to show their support for this important industry."

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “As we emerge from lockdown, reconnect with family and friends and with international visitors slower to return, now is the time to book a domestic city break and also support our local businesses, attractions and destinations as they start to rebuild. Whether it’s a day trip to a local attraction or an overnight stay, whether dining out in our vibrant cafés or exploring our world-class museums and galleries, we want people to rediscover and take a new look at what’s on their doorstep.”

The £5.4 million campaign kicks up a gear from this week with the launch of more than 1200 digital billboard adverts showcasing activities and experiences in cities across the UK as well as advertising on radio, digital audio and podcast platforms. A new short video and branded content across social media as well as ‘on demand’ television advertising will launch in August.

The campaign also drives online ‘traffic’ to https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/escape-everyday# with ideas and links on city-focused experiences across the nations and regions, with advice also to support visitors on travelling responsibly. Destinations across England are also ‘taking over’ VisitEngland’s Instagram on dedicated dates from July through to early September to promote their local tourism businesses and experiences nationally and drive bookings.

A free Escape the Everyday campaign toolkit is available for destinations and tourism businesses across the UK with campaign information, ways to get involved and marketing materials that can be adapted to promote local products and services, attractions and experiences with the theme of ‘reconnection.’

The tourism agency’s latest forecasts show that domestic tourism spending is estimated this year of £51.4 billion, just over half of the £91.6 billion in 2019. Last year alone saw about two-thirds of the value wiped off the domestic tourism industry in Britain, a £58 billion loss to the economy.

Its forecast for inbound tourism spending in the UK this year is £6.2 billion, less than a quarter of the £28.4 billion in 2019.

VisitEngland’s latest domestic consumer sentiment research showed that less than half of those intending to travel domestically had booked a trip from July to September, suggesting a wait and see approach.

The research has also shown slow but steady gains in consumer confidence in taking domestic trips, demonstrating the importance of extending the tourism season this year and that there is still a job to do to boost confidence.

The ‘Escape the Everyday – Enjoy the UK this Summer’ campaign is part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign.

Tourism is usually worth £127 billion to the UK economy, employing 3.1 million people and supporting more than 200,000 small and medium sized businesses.

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