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Cracking holiday at home, Gromit!

On 13/05/13 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

Of the UK’s tourist income, 80% comes from those who choose to holiday at home. Beer and pubs are an important part of this.

I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of the Wallace and Gromit ‘Get Packing’ campaign, hosted by Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. A ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ commercial will be broadcast on TV, while an extended version can be found I do hope you have a chance to watch it – try to spot the pub sign by the canal!

Wallace and Gromit have been around for 20 years and the animations are still made in Bristol. It is a big year for the Aardman franchise: a trail is being launched in Bristol with life sized characters and a themed ride will be opened in Blackpool. The characters will also feature as part of the Proms and international events planned by the BBC World Service.

The campaign has partnered with high street travel agents to help promote domestic breaks. Recent research on last year’s campaign found that 60% of those asked were proud to be British and 20% would be more inclined to take a holiday at home as a result. Last year, domestic tourism was fairly flat in terms of results, but day trips were up 11%, contributing £57 billion to the local economy. This year, the Chelsea Flower show is celebrating its centenary, it will be 100 years since the birth of Benjamin Britten and 200 years since Pride and Prejudice was published – so there are lots of great British events to celebrate.

I used this opportunity to make the link between this campaign and ‘Pubs are Great’ which we are working on with Visit Britain and Number 10. Since I had badgered Maria Miller over beer duty when I last met her, she was kind enough to say that she had thought of me when the duty cut was announced! Visit England also launched a small booklet ‘101 Things to do Before You Go Abroad’. Number two on the list is to visit the oldest pub in Britain.


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