VisitEngland names first chief executive

VisitEngland, the new tourism body for England, has appointed its first chief executive, James Berresford (pictured), ahead of the launch of its first advertising campaign.

Berresford is currently director of tourism at the Northwest Development Agency. He is responsible for formulation, direction and oversight of the North West’s tourism policy.

VisitEngland has been split out from VisitBritain to become a separate entity with a remit to market England to potential holidaymakers. It continues to use the Enjoy England consumer brand and is launching a press campaign this weekend to be followed by a television campaign.

The campaign is devised to make Britons view their time differently and see spare time as an opportunity to take a trip in England, whether it be an afternoon out or a weekend away. The campaign has been developed by agency CST together with COI.

The first ads will appear in The Guardian and The Times. The television advertising follows in May and June. There will also be digital and PR activity and joint TV spots with bodies such as the National Trust.

The activity will be supported by 600 offers from partners such as free entry to attractions for kids and three nights for the price of two hotel offers. The initiative has been overseen by head of marketing Amanda Smyth.

The campaign has been built on insights gained from extensive research carried out by VisitEngland. The research shows that one in five of those who holidayed overseas last year will consider switching to the UK to save money. Sixty per cent of the poll also said that the strength of the euro puts them off travelling abroad.

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