Wallace & Gromit help boost English tourist season
on 22/10/2013 10:03:05
The heatwave followed the launch of a British Government-supported VisitEngland holiday-at-home campaign which featured the cartoon characters.
Today, VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford released results of a survey which showed that 55% of English accommodation and 66% of visitor attractions reported increased visitor numbers for the period from mid-July to the end of the school holidays.
Mr Berresford said ice cream sales in the Royal Parks had doubled this summer while Isle of Wight tourism receipts leapt by £21m.
He went on: "The Wallace & Gromit campaign was highly visible and motivating, especially with the core audience of families.
"The unexpected heatwave of 2013 has certainly given English tourism a shot in the arm, with operators and destinations throughout the country reporting soaring figures."
VisitEngland said that, looking ahead, 56% of accommodation businesses described forward bookings as good, compared with a figure of 51% this time last year.
The England tourism figures were announced at the annual convention of UK travel association Abta in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The Wallace & Gromit advert appeared on the back of coaches run by holiday company Shearings, whose commercial director, Caroline Brown, said: "They were an inspired choice for the campaign."
Shearings said today that it has acquired 38 new coaches in a £10.5m deal. For 2014, the company has expanded its UK programme including holidays to famous TV locations including Highclere Castle in Berkshire where Downton Abbey is filmed.
Holiday company Butlins reported a 10% increase in family holidays at its three seaside resorts this summer.
The resorts - Bognor Regis in West Sussex, Minehead in Somerset, and Skegness in Lincolnshire - will benefit from a £4m accommodation upgrade for 2014.
It was also announced in Dubrovnik today that Warner Leisure Hotels has invested £14m across its locations for next year.
Also, holiday park company Haven is investing around £40m for 2014, including new swimming complexes, family nature trails and new entertainment facilities.