Leafy Warwickshire promoted as the perfect rural escape!

Tourism businesses located in Warwickshire countryside look set to benefit from a new national marketing campaign designed to promote the county as an ideal location for a rural escape.

With the support of Warwickshire County Council, Shakespeare’s England, the new tourism body for Stratford and Warwick district has teamed up with national tourist board, VisitEngland, on a two week multi-channel marketing campaign designed to boost domestic tourism in 2013.

This is the second initiative that Shakespeare’s England has partnered on with VisitEngland, and follows hot on the heels of a highly successful Romantic Heritage campaign, which focused on promoting Stratford upon Avon to couples in January.

The VisitEngland campaign, which launched yesterday, will be promoting short breaks in some of England’s most beautiful rural locations.  It is in part funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and also focuses on a number of other destinations around England such as the Cotswolds and Peak District.

The campaign, supported by Warwickshire County Council, will promote rural Warwickshire as the ideal destination for a short break to a national audience.  Visitors will be encouraged to visit the county’s historic market towns and picturesque villages, enjoy our cosy pubs and experience the various countryside activities on offer such as walking and cycling.Bidford tourism

The promotion incorporates a range of national online, broadcast and print elements in partnership with network radio stations Classic FM and Gold FM, as well as The Guardian, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.  There is also a substantial programme of digital and social media activity, including Facebook competitions, video content, and a dedicated section on visitengland.com: www.visitengland.com/morecountryside

David Collins, Chair of Shakespeare’s England and Royal Shakespeare Company Head of Marketing said: “The rolling green fields of Warwickshire make the ideal location for a relaxing rural retreat. Add to that, our historic market towns and villages, cosy pubs that serve a fabulous range of local food and drink, plus the broad selection of welcoming accommodation and you have the perfect recipe for a great escape.

“Warwickshire is in an ideal geographical location to attract visitors from all over the UK. We have some of England’s most beautiful countryside and it is great to be able to highlight this as part of a national promotion to encourage more visitors to experience its rustic charms.

“The promotion also demonstrates how Shakespeare’s England is working with a wide variety of partners across the region to join up our marketing efforts, which makes sense considering the current economic climate.”

Cllr Colin Hayfield, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Tourism at Warwickshire County Council said: “Warwickshire County Council is pleased to be able to support the Rural Escapes campaign. Tourism is vitally important to the Warwickshire economy and this coordinated national campaign, working with both VisitEngland and Shakespeare’s England will further raise the profile of rural Warwickshire to key target markets.”

This new marketing activity is part of VisitEngland’s three-year investment project called ‘Growing Tourism Locally’.  Funded by £19.8million from the Regional Growth Fund, the project aims to generate £420million in additional tourism spend over the 2012-15 period and inspire more UK residents to take more holidays at home.  The project aims to stimulate local employment across the whole of England to create jobs in the tourism sector by 9,100 over a three-year period to March 2015.