VisitBritain unveils ‘children’s literature’ tourism push

VisitBritain will seek to capitalise on England’s literary heritage this autumn when it launches a campaign promoting areas of the country featured in famous children’s books.

The national tourist body will use well-known characters like Winnie the Pooh, who turns 80 years old this year; Alice in Wonderland; and more modern creations such as Harry Potter to raise awareness of tourist destinations in the UK to markets at home and abroad.

VisitBritain has run literary campaigns before, concentrating on areas that have inspired authors and poets. But this year it is hoping to capitalise on the increased interest in children’s authors generated by films like the Harry Potter franchise, the Narnia series – the original CS Lewis books were inspired by British places and landscapes although the films were shot in New Zealand – and a new Beatrix Potter biopic starring Renee Zellweger to be released later this year.

A spokesman says VisitBritain has yet to appoint any agencies for the job, but expects the campaign to include online, press and direct marketing work. Web pages on the new EnjoyEngland website will be dedicated to the promotion.

The campaign will be primarily aimed at a domestic market and the body is also considering a non-tourism sponsorship deal, possibly with a book retailer or with a publisher.

“Childhood memories are paramount in helping decide on holiday destinations, and books are an emotive part of that,” says a spokesman.

VisitBritain also launched a campaign promoting 33 different English cities this week. An 88-page brochure about the cities has been produced and downloadable guides have been posted on the EnjoyEngland website.

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