The world’s club of super rich are being wooed by Britain to feel classy by visiting Britain’s heaven on earth spots in a new drive to boost holiday and tourism by the government
The world’s wealthiest tourists are to be targeted in a new multi-million pound marketing campaign urging them to embark on luxury holidays to Britain’s vast array of castles, stately homes and attractions.
Visitors with more than $1 million (£640,000) in “spare cash” are to be persuaded to take “fairytale” holidays to help kick start the ailing economy.
Tourism chiefs say the new £10 million campaign, to be launched later in the spring, will showcase attractions that portray “a magical side of Britain”.
Drawing on the country’s history of aristocracy and magnificent array of stately homes, the new marketing drive will focus on “refined, exclusive and sophisticated rather than the decadent and ostentatious”.
The campaign, from VisitBritain, the Government-funded tourism agency, comes amid a surge in the number of wealthy tourists visiting Britain.
Despite the recession, the number of “rich” tourists travelling throughout the country increased last year by almost a fifth, to 10 million visitors.
Research undertaken by Visit Britain identified a series of trends favoured by “high net worth individuals”.
A report, titled “Luxury Travel: Understanding the Luxury Consumer”, identified a demand among the rich for “dreamlike, unreal fairytale holidays”.
These “fantasy” holidays included guests relive the lives of residents in a British stately home for “frictionless flow” holidays, which experts described as “turning the mute button on life”.
Then there were “serendipity” holidays, which surprised visitors, while “Sit Forward, Sit Back Holidays” are about relaxing, “rebooting” and switching off from everyday life.
“The wealthy have a growing appetite for luxury holidays planned with the skill of an art curator or choreographer, full of surprises and a compelling story they can talk about to their friends,” it found.
The research polled tourists from India, Russia and Brazil, which were places tourism leaders felt reflected global travelling trends.
The new campaign will promote “fairytale” holidays, based on three tiers of luxury, gold, platinum and black.
The Gold holiday is for those who want “bling luxury” while the Platinum is for those who are less overt.
The Black packages are designed for those rich tourists “who love understated wealth but revel in utter exclusivity and the feeling of total freedom money brings”.
Among suggested holidays were stays in stately homes, with a floor-to-ceiling butterfly house or embarking on vintage champagne and helicopter rides.
Others could be interested in courses on shucking oysters and smoking a kipper or a more romantic trip involving a picnic hamper filled with afternoon tea and a ride on a steam railway.
Also on offer are “seamless” holidays for those who don’t want friction, and could include living as a laird in a Scottish castle, blending your own bottle of malt whisky, playing golf on prestigious courses and being measured for a kilt.
“Britain is already regarded by many of the international jet-set as the original home of luxury, thanks to our centuries-old aristocratic traditions and history of service,” said Patricia Yates, a VisitBritain director.
“While every country has 5-star hotels, luxurious spas, designer shops and championship golf courses Britain stands out because it has the original world renowned luxury experiences and brands.
Earlier this month VisitBritain found that tourists have finally realised the cuisine here is now some of the best in the world despite a reputation for poor food for as long as it has rained on these shores.
It found more than three-quarters of visitors to Britain said they enjoyed spending time in a restaurant, which suggested millions of people who visit Britain every year have discovered the joys of gastropubs in the countryside, the wealth of ethic eateries and some of the smartest, well regarded Michelin-starred restaurants.
It was a far greater proportion than those who visited a castle, stately home, museum or took in a West End show.
By Andrew Hough 7:00PM GMT 10 Mar 2011