F-H to create home-grown holiday boost

VisitBritain is launching a PR campaign to promote Britain and Ireland as a holiday destination, in an attempt to capitalise on the 2012 Olympics.

Fleishman-Hillard has been appointed to promote VisitBritain's 'Best of Britain and Ireland' campaign to a UK audience. It will culminate in the promotion of the first major consumer travel exhibition for the country in 2009.

VisitBritain's brief called for 'an innovative and creative campaign that will create a buzz about British destinations; aim to silence its detractors; and enthuse British consumers to take a break in their own country'. The campaign will be a mix of media relations, stunts and celebrity endorsement.

But at just £45,000, the budget will raise eyebrows when compared with the six-figure budgets of similar tourism briefs such as Henry's House's recently won New Zealand account (PRWeek, 16 May).

The Government was recently criticised for cutting VisitBritain's funding by 18 per cent by 2010-11, a decision described by a Treasury Select Committee report as 'baffling'.

The campaign will run until The Best of Britain and Ireland event, taking place at the London ExCeL from 26 to 29 March 2009. Fleishman-Hillard is also handling a trade brief to generate pre-show coverage for the Travel Trade Forum event.

Best of Britain and Ireland marks a major push for Britain as a holiday destination in the run up to the 2012 Games and as the credit crunch hits family holidaying budgets. However, a second summer of unpredictable weather has weakened the case for holidaying at home.

Fleishman-Hillard account director Caroline Calvert said: 'The exhibition will be the first opportunity for consumers to experience a live event that showcases the variety, quality and character that holidaying in Britain and Ireland represents, all under one roof.'

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