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Rupert Grint

Why Staying Home is GREAT for Your Business

National treasures Stephen Fry and Julie Walters have teamed with Rupert Grint to highlight what’s ‘GREAT’ about holidaying in Britain. Play your part by championing great British food.

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the home nations’ tourist boards, led by VisitEngland, are two months into their biggest ever domestic tourism campaign – ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT!’

The Government-backed effort comes with a £5 million price tag that has paid for among other things a TV ad, featuring Stephen Fry and Julie Walters plus Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery, extolling the virtues of our green and pleasant land. Its aim is to inspire us Brits to take a ‘staycation’ this year rather than decamp abroad. But if we cannot manage to give up on our foreign climes altogether, the secondary message is to at least give Blighty a go for a short break, weekend or even just days out.

The likes of De Vere, Marriott and Travelodge hotels, the Hoseasons Group, Bourne Leisure, The Coach Tourism Council, Chatsworth House, National Maritime Museum, The Eden Project and attractions giant Merlin, which operates Legoland Windsor, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers Resort among others, have all signed up as supporters, as have tour operators Thomas Cook, but where does this leave the smaller, independent? Sarah Long, head of VisitEngland’s corporate communications, says: “We want as many hospitality businesses as possible, no matter how small, to get behind the campaign.”

At the campaign’s hub is a website featuring thousands of special money-off deals. Explains Sarah: “The website is aimed at the public. They can log on to get great value offers on holidays, accommodation, meals, attractions and experiences.

“The idea is that with 2012 being a year like no other in our history, we all need to celebrate it and take pride by making the most of what’s on our doorstep and to encourage people to do this, we want hospitality providers to help by making their offering more affordable.”

“Ideally, we’d like businesses to reduce their price by 20.12% but we realize that this may not be feasible for some smaller independents in which case, it’s about adding value.

“I know of a restaurant that has devised a special £20.12 menu and of a small bed and breakfast in Cornwall that is charging its usual price but giving its guests 20 Cornish grown roses and a box of 12 locally made chocolates as a leaving gift.

“Whatever the offer, we’d like to know about it and shout about it via the website.”

 Something to offer?

Whether you have a money-off or added value offer, take advantage of the promotional work being undertaken by VisitEngland and get your details on its www.great2012offers.com website. It’s free. Simply visit www.visitengland.org/2012offers and upload details. Your offer should then appear on the website within 10 working days. Anyone wanting to take up your offer will click on it and be taken directly to your own website to make their reservation. Uploading your offer therefore links you directly to VisitEngland.

If you need help simply telephone the tourist board’s web team on 020 7578 1234 or e-mail your query to offers@visitengland.org. You can also forward details of your special 2012 events or celebrations to the tourist board’s editorial team at editorial@visitengland.org. Its responsible for adding new content to the campaign website, producing a newsletter and writing VisitEngland blogs. It could lead to lots of free publicity for your business.

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