Starting next month, Wallace and Gromit will front a £4 million ad campaign aimed at boosting tourism in Britain.
The popular animated duo will lead the government-backed ‘Great Adventure’ initiative, which is being run by VisitEngland.
Wallace and Gromit will be appearing as ‘tourism trailblazers’ in a TV advert due to air from May 12, as they explore the best of the UK.
The domestic holidays push is backed by £2 million of government funding, as well as £2 million in support from operators and agents and it will run for months and will also be backed by the tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Wallace and Gromit ads will run on TV, in cinemas, video on demand and online and is part of the follow up campaign to last year’s Holidays at Home are Great initiative which featured celebrities including Stephen Fry and Julie Walters encouraging British holidaymakers to explore the beauty of their homeland instead of jetting off abroad.
VisitEngland’s chief executive, James Berresford, said: “Wallace and Gromit are bound to grab people’s attention and will be great ambassadors for holidays at home.
“They are a quintessentially English double-act with universal appeal at home and abroad, and I’m sure will have an adventurous time discovering all this country has to offer.
“We hope this ad, which I think breaks the mould of cliché tourism ads, will capture the imagination of Britons to inspire them to visit their local travel agent and book a break at home this year.”
Tourism minister Hugh Robertson said: “The first instalment of the Holidays at Home campaign was a great success generating growth of £300 million.
“The coup of landing Wallace and Gromit for the campaign’s second push is great news. Their ad will no doubt capture the imagination, encourage people to have a fresh look at what England as a holiday destination has to offer and boost domestic tourism further.”
Interestingly, a sizeable percentage of British timeshare owners own a week “at home” – despite the UK’s unpredictable weather – with most timeshare resorts based in the UK’s beauty spots including Devon, Cornwall, the Lake District, and also the Scottish Highlands and Wales.
With travel costs a big factor these days, many families are choosing to spend holidays closer to home, to avoid the rising prices of air fares as well as the time spent “in transit” at airports, inconvenient flight times and long security queues.