VisitEngland is seeking to strengthen its relationship with the trade by launching a TV advert urging consumers to book with their local travel agent.
The advert, which will hit TV screens in 2013, will be in stark contrast to Visit England’s controversial campaign earlier this year, which questioned why consumers would want to travel abroad.
The organisation was given another £2 million by the government at the end of the Olympics to build on the momentum of the Games.
VisitEngland will use the money to promote sales through agents – provided agents agree to return the support by promoting domestic holidays.
Marketing director Alex Mawer said the new advert will “purposely give agents an opportunity to make money out of it”.
“They will have input into the creative so that what happened [with our TV ad] last time doesn’t happen again,” he said.
“Agents need to tell us the value of what they are going to do to support it.
“We are not looking at this as a one‑hit wonder. We’re looking for this to change the whole mindset of the public so they know they can book a domestic holiday in a travel agency.”
But he recognised that domestic holidays are difficult for agents to book.
“It’s far easier for agents to book a break to Madrid than to Manchester,” added Mawer.
“People are not selling England as a package and, consequently, there’s no promotional activity behind it.
“Jeremy Hunt, John Penrose and all of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport see this as an opportunity to engage greater penetration of domestic packages and a huge opportunity for growth of agency sales because currently, consumers are buying UK holidays only direct and independently.”
Mawer revealed Visit England was planning an event next spring to bring suppliers, buyers and agents together to create more commissionable packages.
It is also launching an agents’ training programme with Travel Weekly partner Travel Uni this autumn.
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