Travel agents are to participate in new £4 million domestic tourism campaign from VisitEngland featuring Aardman character Shaun the Sheep.
Agencies including Thomas Cook, Thomson, Advantage, Worldchoice, Barrhead Travel, Hays Travel, Bath Travel and Midcounties Co-operative will be promoting ‘baa-rilliant’ deals around the UK for the summer.
Also involved are operators Superbreak, Hoseasons, Bourne Leisure, Shearings Holidays and Attraction World.
Following a big screen debut on February 6 with the film Shaun the Sheep The Movie, the character will appear in a TV advert later this year encouraging consumers to book a holiday through their local travel agent.
Led by VisitEngland and supported by the tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the campaign will follow Shaun the Sheep on holiday in the UK with his farmyard friends.
VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: “Following on from the success of the third Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign last year, which starred Wallace & Gromit, we have partnered again with Aardman to create another super TV advertisement.
“I am confident Shaun will fuel the public’s imagination and inspire them to take a holiday in the UK this year.
“This new campaign forms a key part of VisitEngland’s strategy to grow tourism in this country, supporting the government’s agenda for growth.
He added: “We have had a fantastic response from the domestic travel trade, and I’m looking forward to working with our tour operator and retail partners to inspire Britons to visit their local travel agent and book a break at home this year.”
Tourism minister Helen Grant said: “Shaun the Sheep is a much loved character so it’s fantastic that he’s been signed up to encourage Brits to book a domestic break this year.
“Britain’s tourism sector is performing strongly, creating jobs supporting businesses and helping deliver the government’s long-term economic plan. So it’s great that VisitEngland has teamed up once more with Aardman to help keep up this momentum.”
Sean Clarke, head of rights and brand development at Aardman, said: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with VisitEngland and already have some funny ideas for the campaign that in the true spirit of Shaun the Sheep can help people discover the merits of holidaying in the UK.”
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