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Published on Thursday, March 8, 2012

ABTA slams 'misguided' VisitEngland campaign

ABTA has rubbished a £4m Government-backed advertising campaign to encourage Britons to holiday at home this year, saying it will do nothing to encourage people to book domestic breaks.

It said the domestic tourism campaign, launched today by VisitEngland, was a "misguided use of public funds".

A YouGov poll commissioned by ABTA found that only 4% of consumers admitted to being influenced by Government advertising. The majority - 45% - said they were more influenced by family and friends and 36% said they were inspired by travel websites and brochures.

A further 16% said they were influenced by newspaper and magazine recommendations or TV programmes and films, but only 7% said they were influenced by TV adverts.

Nearly two-thirds of respondants said they didn't think the Government should spend money trying to influence where people choose to holiday, although one in five supported the Government's campaign.

The Holidays at Home are Great campaign - the biggest ever launched by VisitEngland - will include TV adverts starting tomorrow starring celebrities Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery. In ABTA's survey, only 1% of people who booked holidays admitted to being swayed by celebrities.

The survey also revealed that British holidaymakers are more likely to look forward to a foreign break (42%) than a domestic one (16%), although 41% said they looked forward to both types of holiday equally.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "2012 is a year for Britain to shine and there are some fantastic events and places to visit for people choosing to holiday in the UK.

"However, I don’t think the Government needs to spend £4m of our money telling us that we’re having the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics.

"It is clear that the majority of Brits are strongly opposed to the Government spending taxpayer money on telling them where to go on holiday. British holidaymakers should be free to make their own choices and enjoy the variety the world has to offer without Government interference."


By Linsey McNeill


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  • Taking in each others' washing?

    Advertising that seeks to persuade English residents to holiday in England does nothing to boost the economy; it's just the same cash moving around. The money would be far better spent overseas to promote England to foreigners. They bring in new money, which, by virtue of the multiplier effect, does even more good than the simple initial expenditure figures would suggest.

    By Richard English, Wednesday, March 14, 2012

  • Nanny State

    Another example of the nanny state, none of this article surprises me. Govenment must start to realise that, as strange as it may seem, the British public do actually have a mind of their own and will make decisions based on their own personal requirements, desires etc etc. It's a bit like those irelevant flashing motorway signs that say 'Fog,' like we haven't noticed?

    By Keith Standen, Thursday, March 8, 2012

  • Why not compete!

    Although the TV Ad that the government is launching to try and attract more UK citizens to holiday locally is see through I don't think that they should be looked at negatively for marketing to the local audience. Many tourist boards are marketing to the UK audience to attract them to their overseas destinations so the UK tourist boards should also compete for this market.

    By Karen Misick, Thursday, March 8, 2012

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