Famous faces aim to lure back tourists
(Yorkshire Post - 18 December 2001)
SOME of Yorkshire's best-known personalities are to front a £1.5m TV advertising campaign to bring tourists back to the county.
Cricketer Darren Gough, Spice Girl Mel B, gardener Alan Titchmarsh, actor Brian Blessed and TV chef Brian Turner have all signed up to promote Yorkshire in a series of TV adverts aimed at reversing the damaging effects of the foot-and-mouth crisis.
Titled Britain's Biggest Break, the commercials will feature a range of the county's best features including its countryside, coastline, historic attractions as well as its potential for shopping, eating out and enjoying top class sport.
Actor Sean Bean has provided the voiceover for a series of five adverts, each lasting 10 seconds, which are to be placed in prime-time slots alongside programmes such as Coronation Street and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Darren Gough is featured downing a pint at the Drum and Monkey pub in Harrogate as he fronts the commercial highlighting sporting attractions, which include York Races.
Harewood House is shown during Alan Titchmarsh's advert for historic attractions, while Mel B visits Harrogate for an advert on shopping.
Emmerdale's Woolpack Inn features for an advert focusing on locations for filming, fronted by Brian Blessed, while Brian Turner tucks into some traditional fish and chips in Scarborough during an advert devoted to extolling the beauty of Yorkshire's coastline.
The TV campaign aims to reach an audience of 20 million and will be screened from New Year's Eve in key markets in the South-East of England and the Midlands using ITV's Carlton and Central channels.
Costing £1.5m, the month-long TV campaign is part of an overall £2.5m package launched in September by regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward which has begun to undo the damage done by foot and mouth restrictions.
David Andrews, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Tourist Board said: "Yorkshire Forward's investment in this project underlines the importance of tourism to the economic well-being of our region.
"Rural tourism alone normally accounts for £1.7bn annually.
"It is a very important source of income to many small operators in rural areas, a source that has been denied them in the past year."
Theresa Lindsay, Yorkshire Forward's head of marketing and communications, added: "Our aim is to encourage day trips and short breaks to Britain's biggest county and put Yorkshire on the map for the 2002 holiday season. The campaign will reach an audience of more than 20 million, and more importantly will create a platform for developing longer-term initiatives to ensure the future of the region's rural economy."
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