Michael Gambon - aka beloved English character, ‘Professor Dumbledore’ - is providing the voice-over in a new TV advert, encouraging British travellers to ‘share the secrets’ of their holiday experiences with England’s national tourism board and thousands of other visitors.Launched by Enjoy England, the domestic arm of national tourism agency VisitBritain, the TV ad inspires viewers to visit www.enjoyengland.com and a new community forum to discuss their recommendations for a holiday at home in 2008. Michael’s voice-over tells viewers that the award-winning national tourism website is the place where England’s best kept secrets will be revealed.
User-generated content on enjoyengland.com’s forum aims to inspire fans of great English holidays, destinations, accommodation and attractions to share ideas to help their peers make the most of their leisure time. Enjoy England will use the ideas to create features and practical information on the website about places to visit, things to do and hidden gems.
To remind them that there’s more to life than work, consumers throughout Britain will hear a series of radio adverts every Monday, which draw on real experiences posted on the site by forum users. They include eating cockles at Leigh-on-Sea, enjoying the peace and quiet of the Norfolk Broads, relishing the misty view over Grindsbrook to Edale, biking the muddy Malvern Hills, and trips to Lindisfarne and the beach of Kingsgate Castle in Kent.
Amanda Smyth, head of marketing for Enjoy England, says: “People are always talking about the pros and cons of England as a destination - whether we can compete with overseas holidays, whether the weather puts people off and so on. Now we’ve created an area where holiday-makers can share their recommendations of all that’s great about the destination.
“The rise of peer-to-peer review sites and user-generated content means we can more easily find out what our customers want from their holiday experiences. We won’t be shying away from comments about what needs improving either: it can help us succeed as a world-class destination by helping us exceed visitor expectations.”
The 40- and 10-second TV adverts will run on prime-time terrestrial and satellite television throughout February and March - a key planning and booking time for the British holidaymaker. Radio adverts will be heard on national and regional radio throughout the period.
England’s official tourism website hosts 1,500 destination guides and 1,000 pages of editorial with new developments making it easier than ever before for visitors to take a break in England. An interactive ‘day trip planner’ shows what there is to do and see on their doorstep or within a few miles of where they live or plan to stay. Users can order brochures and regular e-newsletters and, once they’ve made their decision, can act on it more easily by booking quality-assured accommodation through the EnglandNet database.
Amanda Smyth continues: “England is more popular as a destination today than it has ever been. Britons take 111 million trips in England - well ahead of the 66.5 million they take abroad. We hope the campaign will impress British travellers with the huge variety of holiday experiences they can enjoy at any time of the year. They’ll see that they are missing out on something special if they don’t take a break in England this year.”