Love to drive Chester’s visitor economy

David McCourt

Marketing Cheshire is putting love at the heart of its 2013 marketing campaign to bring more visitors to Chester.

The marketing agency has joined forces with Visit England to launch a new romantic short breaks campaign alongside key destinations in England.

Funded by £19.8m from the Regional Growth Fund, the project aims to generate £365m in additional tourism spend over the 2012-15 period and inspire more UK residents to take holidays at home.

The project also aims to stimulate local employment to create 9,100 jobs in the tourism sector over a three-year period to March 2015.

The total investment of the three-year campaign will be approximately £41.9m including £9.1m from Visit England and £12.7m leveraged from both national and local tourism partners over the 2012-15 period.

The new initiative will showcase boutique accommodation, restaurants, activities and the historic settings that Britain's heritage cities offer visitors.

Supporting Chester's role in the campaign are Chester Grosvenor & Spa and its Michelin-star Simon Radley restaurant, Abode Chester and its Michael Caines' restaurant and Chester Zoo.

The campaign will incorporate a range of national online, broadcast and print elements in partnership with network radio stations as well as national newspapers.

There will also be a programme of digital and social media activity, including Facebook competitions, video content, and a dedicated section on

James Berresford, chief executive at Visit England, said: "This campaign is the first of several launching this year with the aim of growing tourism in England.

"Starting in time for Valentine's Day and Easter, the campaign promotes some of England's most historic destinations. This is a great example of the industry working in partnership to stimulate tourism and grow jobs throughout the country."

Nicola Said, head of marketing at Marketing Cheshire, said: "Chester welcomes over 8m visitors from across the world who fall in love with the city's buildings, shopping and restaurants. It's a wonderful place to share quality time and experiences with your partner and its settings are a great backdrop for pictures."

The new marketing activity is part of Visit England's three-year investment project called Growing Tourism Locally.

The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.46bn fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016.

Chester Love

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All we need is an Eiffel Tower now; the shot tower or Cathedral anyone?!!

By Jane Harrad-Roberts