Domestic tour operators have praised the Wallace & Gromit campaign for building awareness of UK tourism amongst travel agents.
Shearings, Bourne Leisure, Superbreak and Wyndham Vacation Rentals (Hoseasons) said travel agents have really taken the promotion on board and started to see the value in booking domestic breaks.
“The Wallace & Gromit campaign engaged the trade more than ever this year, we had a bit of fun with it,” said Jane Atkins, sales director at Superbreak. “All our retail partners were well behind the campaign and for the first time in a while everyone pulled together to boost engagement.”
Allan Lambert, head of retail at Bourne Leisure added: “The campaign increased the interest and searches but it was also a step change in attitude for the independent sector.”
The summer campaign is also seeing positivity from businesses based in the UK, with tourism also helped along by the sunny weather across the country. VisitEngland’s latest Tourism Business Monitor found 55% of accommodation businesses and 66% of attractions have seen a boost in sales this summer.
“The domestic sector had not been as prominent through the high street but the Wallace & Gromit campaign turned it around,” said James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland. “We hope for more of the same next year and still have 18 months left of continued activity with the Regional Economic Fund.”
Focuses for 2014 will include the Tour de France; the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and World War I commemorative events. Interest in cycling breaks are thought to be up 15%.