The event, which kicked off on Saturday, will see hoteliers, restaurateurs and publicans join forces with attraction operators and others in the tourism sector to put on special events and activities during the week with the aim of showcasing the wealth of tourism opportunities there are across the country.
VisitEngland chairman Lady Cobham, said: "England has a fantastic and diverse tourism product, of which we can all be incredibly proud, and the industry contributes £97billion to our economy. With the generous support of The Prince of Wales, we hope this week-long celebration will inspire people to become tourism ambassadors for their local area.”
English Tourism Week coincides with the launch of VisitEngland's largest domestic tourism marketing campaign - Holidays at Home are GREAT!
Last Thursday, the first TV ads produced for the £5m campaign aired, with actors Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery all featuring in tourism hotspots and encouraging viewers to visit the website www.great2012offers.com to get a discount of 20.12 per cent or more off accommodation, restaurants, attractions, events and transport.
The campaign, which aims to boost domestic tourism and mitigate against a potential Olympic sag this year, has drawn the support of some of the largest national hotel chains such as De Vere, Marriott, Travelodge, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and Accor, who have pledged to discount 2.5m rooms.
“This is the largest domestic tourism campaign ever undertaken and aims to inspire UK residents to take advantage of the fantastic events taking place in the country this year," said VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford. "We have thousands of offers up and down the country which means a family can enjoy great deals on accommodation, meals, and tickets to attractions at very affordable prices. Now is the time to holiday at home – there is no comparison anywhere else in the world with what’s on offer here in the UK this year.”
The Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign is part of VisitEngland’s three year marketing strategy worth £24m. The overall marketing programme seeks to generate an additional 5.3m short break nights in England with an incremental spend of £480m by 2015.
Many businesses in the industry, including Travelodge and Whitbread have also today put their name to the British Hospitality Association's open letter to the Government asking for VAT to be cut to 5 per cent for the hospitality industry and help boost the industry and its jobs.