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Merlin Entertainments Group Announce Joint Promotional Initiative with VisitEngland


National tourist board VisitEngland has joined forces with Europe’s biggest attraction operator, UK based Merlin Entertainments, in order to launch a joint advertising campaign in time for this week’s English Tourism Week.

Related: Merlin Entertainments: interview with Mark Fisher, MD Theme Parks / Theme parks: Merlin Entertainments’ John Jakobsen on the Rise and Rise of Legoland / Interview with Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments Group: World Leadership through People and Creative Ideas

Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney and VisitEngland's Lady CobhamBeginning on 12th March, the campaign will run for three weeks and is comprised of peak-time TV ads, e-shots and online advertising and aims to encourage consumers to visit the VisitEngland website.

The 600, 000 advertising initiative will be supported by national and local PR activity, which will promote a 25% discount on the Standard Merlin Annual Pass. The Pass gives holders 12 month’s access to all of Merlin’s 25 English attractions.

These include: Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor. Other Merlin attractions include: the EDF Energy London Eye; SEA LIFE, Warwick Castle, Madame Tussauds, Thorpe Park, Dungeons, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, and Blackpool Tower.

Another Merlin attraction, an observation tower in Weymouth, is due to open in time for the Olympics. 

The advertising campaign also coincides with the Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign launched last week which aims to encourage UK residents to take advantage of this year’s unique events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Torch Relay, the Cultural Festival and of course, the Olympics. It is hoped that UK holiday-makers will take advantage of the opportunity to book a break in Britain and most the most of the momentous events of 2012.

Commenting, Lady merlin entertainments groupCobham, VisitEngland’s Chairman said: “We are particularly excited by this partnership with Merlin, one of our most exciting and dynamic leisure organisations offering world-class attractions throughout the UK.  Now is the time to holiday at home – there is no comparison anywhere else in the world with what is happening here in the UK this year.” 

Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney, said “The UK is where Merlin began, and many of our best known and biggest attractions are here.  We strongly support the Government’s efforts to encourage domestic as well as international tourism – not least because a successful tourist industry is also the quickest and most effective way to create new jobs, particularly for young people.”

“Indeed as the theme park season begins we are ourselves recruiting for several thousand jobs around the country.    

We believe that events in 2012 offer new impetus for people living here to rediscover what a fantastic range of activities there are in this country, at all price points, and for all the family.  We hope too that the success of this campaign, on every level, will encourage Government to go even further in the future.”

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