An advertising campaign fronted by Stuart Maconie, the music journalist and radio broadcaster born in St Helens, generated between £5.5m and £7.5m for the region's economy over the past year, according to the North West Development Agency, which commissioned the work.
The NWDA said the adverts, in the form of travel diary style short stories in national magazines and newspaper supplements, had an audience reach of 15 million. The campaign, costing the agency £567,000 in the first 12 months, was supported by a book and dedicated website, www.stuartsstories.com.
A fresh batch of short stories due to be published in the autumn will feature two or more "viable, relevant famous faces" alongside Maconie's, whose names have yet to be decided.
Activity in September, October and November will target "nest builders, unconstrained couples and empty nesters". The 'attack brands' of Blackpool, Chester, Manchester, Lake District, Liverpool will be used to attract readers in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South East to the region.