UK-wide Escape the Everyday campaign launches to boost domestic breaks this summer

20 May 2021

VisitEngland in partnership with the tourism organisations of London, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is set to launch the next phase of its UK-wide campaign to boost domestic day trips and overnight breaks in the run-up to summer.

The ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, which first launched in autumn 2020, highlights the quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across the UK to build back demand for domestic breaks. This next phase of the campaign ‘Escape the Everyday – Enjoy the UK this Summer,’ with the theme ‘reconnecting with people and places’, has a focus on cities and city visitor attractions as well as regional gateways which have been particularly hard hit by the lack of international visitors and that rely on overseas visitors and their spending.  

The £5 million campaign kicks off today (20 May) across the tourism agency’s ‘own’ channels with a short video and branded content across social media with ‘on demand’ television advertising from 25 May. The paid multi-media campaign then ramps up as the summer season approaches and in line with each nation's roadmap. The content also drives online ‘traffic’ to with ideas and links to information on city-focused experiences across the nations and regions. 

The campaign is also calling for tourism businesses, visitor attractions and destinations across the UK to get involved.

It comes as the tourism agency’s latest forecasts show that domestic tourism spending is estimated this year of £51.4 billion, just over half of the £91.6 billion in 2019. Last year alone saw about two-thirds of the value wiped off the domestic tourism industry in Britain, a £58 billion loss to the economy.

Its forecast for inbound tourism spending in the UK this year is £6.2 billion, less than a quarter of the £28.4 billion in 2019.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: 

"Our brilliant tourism and hospitality sector has faced unprecedented challenges over the past year, which is why we've already provided £25 billion in support, including £5 billion in VAT cuts.

"There is so much to see and do across the whole of the UK and our great cities have lots to offer. Whether you'd rather visit a museum or gallery, browse in a bookshop or enjoy first rate hospitality, I encourage everyone to get out there and explore our wonderful cities and support domestic tourism."

VisitEngland Director of Marketing Clare Mullin said: 

“By highlighting the quality and sheer diversity of tourism products, destinations and experiences we want to inspire people to explore what’s here on our doorstep, to reconnect with places they love and to support local businesses and visitor attractions as they reopen and rebuild.

“Our cities and city visitor attractions have also been particularly hard hit by the lack of overseas visitors. With international tourists slower to return, this really is the year to rediscover the crown jewels of tourism in our vibrant cities with their outstanding mix of contemporary culture, buzzing hospitality, world-renowned heritage and first-class visitor attractions. 

“Businesses across the sector have been working flat-out to welcome visitors back safely, adapting and innovating to meet new ways of working and still providing a great experience. They will be very pleased to see you.” 

A free Escape the Everyday campaign toolkit is available for destinations and tourism businesses across the UK with campaign information, ways to get involved and marketing materials that can be adapted to promote local products and services, attractions and experiences with the theme of ‘reconnection.’

VisitEngland’s latest domestic consumer sentiment research showed that while bookings for domestic trips for spring had accelerated, with just over half of domestic trips planned between May and June booked, the summer months are slower with just under a third of trips between July to September booked, suggesting a ‘wait and see’ approach.

The research has also shown slow but steady gains in consumer confidence in taking domestic trips from late spring and rising through summer, demonstrating the importance of extending the tourism season this year and that there is still a job to do to boost confidence.

More than 47,000 businesses across the UK have signed up to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard reassuring customers, staff and local residents that the correct procedures and processes are in place to welcome them back safely.

The ‘Escape the Everyday – Enjoy the UK this Summer’ campaign is part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign. 

Tourism is usually worth £127 billion to the UK economy, employing 3.1 million people and supporting more than 200,000 small and medium sized businesses.

Notes to editors: 

  • Locations featured in the short video are in order of appearance: Royal Dock, Liverpool; Brixton Market, London; Oh Me Oh My, Liverpool; Pergola, London; God's Own Junkyard, London; various restaurants, London; Castle Arcades, Cardiff; Lee Valley White Water Centre, London; various, Brighton; Titanic Museum. Belfast, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh; view over Calton Hill Edinburgh.
  • For inspiration on travelling to English cities this summer see
  • More information on how tourism businesses can get involved in the ‘Escape the Everyday – Enjoy the UK this Summer’ campaign is available here: 
  • VisitBritain’s inbound and domestic forecasts are available on its website here:
  • The importance of the summer season: Almost a third, 32%, of all domestic holiday spending in Britain usually takes place during summer (July and August), £4.6 billion in 2019.
  • VisitEngland has been tracking domestic consumer sentiment towards travel since May 2020. Its latest wave of bi-weekly research (with field-work 4 – 9 May and published on 14 May 2021) showed that 33% of people it surveyed were confident in the ability to take a domestic overnight trip in May, rising to 43% in June, 55% in July, 61% in August and 66% in September.
  • The research also shows that the South West of England leads for overnight domestic trips for spring, followed by Wales, Yorkshire & Humber and Scotland. The research has also consistently shown a preference for coastal, countryside and rural destinations as restrictions lift - as well as outdoor activities and outdoor visitor attractions. This trend continues well into 2021.
  • VisitEngland statistics show that 44% of domestic overnight visitor spending, £10.8 billion in 2019, was in Britain's cities and towns.
  • VisitBritain statistics show that the top four cities for inbound tourism - London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham - accounted for 63% of all inbound visitor spending in 2019.