MAJOR NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT

Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – the Destination Management Organisation tasked with attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight – has announced significant investment in a major new marketing campaign aimed at driving pre-season visitor numbers.

The spring campaign, which highlights the Island’s appeal as an out of season destination, will also showcase its range of new products, including Acoustic Isle (13 to 23 March, http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/acoustic-isle) a brand new music event which will build over the next three years to provide consumers with an excuse to visit the Isle of Wight and turn a trip into a full-blown musical holiday.

VIOW, the Isle of Wight Council and its industry partners is investing £175,000 (total fund £210,000) into a new 3-month marketing campaign, launching this month (February 2014). In addition to consumer press and radio advertising, the campaign is also supported by a £45,000 media partnership with VisitEngland (VE) focusing on what England is most loved for including the English Seaside and the English Countryside.

The VE themed campaigns which start this month will run on the radio, in newspaper supplements and via social media and PR.   A series of holiday supplements and competitions with themes from ‘Rural Escapes’ to the ‘Great Outdoors’ will appear in The Independent, The Telegraph, Time Out, the London Evening Standard, Woman & Home, Essentials and Chat – and help drive traffic to VIOW’s award-winning website which sees up to 100,000 unique visitors a month.

Tourism officials also hope to attract thousands of new visitors from the Greater London area with an advertising blitz on the London Underground which will see posters plastered all over stations at Victoria and Waterloo as well as high visibility coving panels sporting the message “Close your eyes and you’re almost there…the perfect weekend escape, less than 2 hours from London”.

In addition, the first phase of a two-year Shades of Wight campaign created by VIOW has started with a high-end brochure which will be promoted in press ads in The Radio Times, Hampshire Life and Stylist magazine.   The campaign aimed at AB1’s (couples and groups of friends) seeks to challenge perceptions of holidaying on the Isle of Wight by featuring the unique, distinctive quality experiences the Island has to offer throughout the year, with special attention given to the spring and autumn periods.

VIOW is constantly developing new ways to attract out of season visitors to the Isle of Wight and is currently developing and marketing a new campaign for 2014, Acoustic Isle.   From chap-hop to jazz, classical and folk, the Acoustic Isle festivities kick off on 13 March, featuring hundreds of intimate performances in Island pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants.

This March, a succession of national and regional radio and newspaper ads will invite people to “Unplug, take a break and re-connect with nature’s soundtrack on the Isle of Wight”, while 40,000 copies of a newspaper-style gig guide will be distributed off-Island and will also be available at cross-Solent terminals as well as pubs, hotels and Island tourist information points.

David Thornton, Chief Executive, VIOW, says “We saw good growth in the late spring and summer last year, and whilst visitor numbers have been challenged by the poor weather over the winter, we have still performed far better than the mainland seaside resorts.

“This latest campaign push has been slightly delayed whilst we waited for the dreadful weather to subside, but now it’s great to see the Isle of Wight message appearing in the national press and across the London Underground network.”

Following discussions with VIOW, South West Trains has announced that it is extending its Winter Smiles campaign – a £10 day return train ticket offer from London to Southampton, Portsmouth and Southsea – from Monday 24 February until Sunday 16 March 2014.  More details about the offer can be found at www.southwesttrains.co.uk/wintersmiles

For all tourist information on the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer, Tel: 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  • Attached – copy of the advertisement running on the London Underground (2000 tube panel posters) from Monday 24th February for two weeks.  Station footfall at London Victoria is 3.163m/2wks (69% ABC1), Waterloo:  station footfall 3.235m/2wks (67% ABC1).
  • Attached – copy of Acoustic Isle advertisement.  The event will be promoted in national, regional and local media channels and on TV screens on board Isle of Wight ferries.  The target audience for the campaign lives between Hampshire and London, loves the countryside and its pubs, the coast and its waterside inns, and likes to treat themselves to short breaks when they can relax, unwind and spend quality time together.
  • Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (VisitIsleofWight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org
  • VisitIsleofWight.co.uk is now the Isle of Wight’s Number One Holiday website.  The consumer website, www.visitIsleofWight.co.uk was launched in February 2013. Visitor traffic during July 2013 was 73% higher than the old Islandbreaks site for the same time last year.  During August 2013, the website hit an all-time record with 107,000 unique visitors in one month and in December 2013 recorded a 271% increase in traffic compared with the same month in 2012.