Wales in the spotlight as stars choose Britain

The ads build on the all-star cast already assembled to promote the UK overseas as part of the national tourism agency’s ‘Great Britain You’re Invited’ marketing programme.

Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, and Welsh-born film star Luke Evans will feature in two new global adverts designed to inspire a visit to the UK. Both talk fondly of what they love about Wales, as well as giving their tips on things to do, like going down the Big Pit in the World Heritage listed site of Blaenavon or taking in a rugby match at Millennium Stadium.

Taking the opportunity to enthuse us with his own experiences, Matt Smith describes how he has become very fond of the Welsh after spending nine months of the year in their capital while filming the adventures of Doctor Who. His insight comes as the new interactive Doctor Who Experience gets ready to open in Cardiff Bay next year and as the Wales Millennium Centre plays host to the first Official Dr Who Convention, where visitors will have unparalleled access to the cast and crew of the BBC’s hit series.

Matt Smith said: “One of the virtues and benefits of filming Doctor Who in Wales is that it affords such a great variety of locations and each one of those locations has such scale. Many of our scenes are shot in quarries, a lot of forests and in famous castles, so we get to take the Tardis on a grand sightseeing tour of Wales.

“There are plenty of things to do if you come to visit Cardiff, but a must is probably to go and watch one of the Six Nations rugby games. I like the way the Welsh are so passionate about their sport and on a Saturday when the rugby is on, Cardiff becomes rugby orientated in a way that not many cities are.”

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Following roles in recent blockbusters Robin Hood, The Three Musketeers and The Immortals, Luke Evans is now in New Zealand filming in the eagerly awaited Peter Jackson fantasy epic The Hobbit where he will play Bard the Bowman. The rising star recalls his early holidays in Wales where he would walk everywhere with his family, taking in the fantastic scenery around him.

Luke Evans said: “Wales is blessed with some truly magnificent castles, full of history and a must see for visitors. We have Caerphilly Castle which still looks very impenetrable even in this day and age, then there is the beautiful Castell Coch and of course the grand castle in Cardiff.

“From the big mountains in the north, to the valleys in the south, all through my childhood and teenage years my family would always holiday in Wales. We’d travel the fabulous Ceredigion Coast to places like Aberystwyth, or go caravanning in the medieval walled town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire. We’ve got some beautiful coastline here in Wales; it’s absolutely breath-taking.”

Laurence Bresh, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “Two globally recognised stars in their own right are now on board to inspire the world to visit Wales as part of our ‘GREAT Britain - You’re Invited’ campaign. We are honoured to add both Matt and Luke to our ‘dream team’ of global ambassadors.

“Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s most watched shows around the world, so having Matt on board is a perfect fit for our ambitions to increase international visits to the UK. It is a great endorsement of all the wonderful experiences that can be found by visitors if they go to Wales.

“Luke Evans is fast becoming a major Hollywood star and provides some compelling reasons why people should visit his homeland. His passion for Wales is palpable for all to see, and when he breaks into song it is a truly inspiring moment that shows the kind of warm welcome that overseas guests can look forward to.”

Jonathan Jones, Visit Wales Director of Tourism and Marketing said: “I’m delighted that VisitBritain have been able to work with celebrities of this calibre to promote what we have to offer international visitors here in Wales. Listening to people’s first hand experiences of Wales and their personal tips of where to go and what to see should inspire many visitors to make Wales a part of their next trip to the UK.”

The two films are the latest in VisitBritain’s ‘GREAT Britain - You’re Invited’ campaign. Over the next four years the organisation is looking to attract an extra 4.6 million visitors, spending an additional £2.3 billion across the country and supporting the creation of almost 60,000 new jobs.

City.Mobi

Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.

City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.

However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi.

London.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.

Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.

Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.

City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.