December 7, 2010 / 12:13 AM / 8 years ago

UK to lure wealthy tourists with "fairytale" breaks

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain’s national tourism agency is set to launch a major marketing campaign to persuade more wealthy tourists to spend their cash on luxury holidays in the country’s castles, stately homes and theatres.

Visitors look out from a pod on the London Eye towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in central London April 6, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville

VisitBritain will promote “fairytale” holidays, based on three tiers of luxury, gold, platinum and black, to attract the estimated 10 million high net worth individuals with more than $1 million.

“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,” Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“For example, a stay at Claridge’s, shopping in Selfridges, or eighteen holes at St Andrew’s, have a cachet that can’t be found elsewhere.”

VisitBritain said it had identified a fashion among the rich for dreamlike or fairytale holidays, and it will draw on the country’s rich history, “showing a magical side of Britain which has a powerful sense of playfulness and fantasy.”

Such a holiday could include a stay in a stately home, with a floor-to-ceiling butterfly house.

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.

For those who want to get under the skin of traditional British culture during a luxury break, there is the chance to go backstage at Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London.

Vintage champagne and helicopter rides are also available, as are courses on shucking oysters and smoking a kipper.

Romantic holidays could include a picnic hamper filled with afternoon tea and a ride on a steam railway.

“Luxury travelers often want their holidays to establish their social status or kudos by giving them the chance to tell the story of how they did something new and unique or use an experience in their daily lives,” VisitBritain said.

The agency is putting 50 million pounds aside for the worldwide advertising campaign, to be launched next year, with a further 50 million pounds sought from the private sector.

The Gold holiday is for those who want “bling luxury,” while the Platinum is for those who are less overt, and the Black is for those who want the understated, minimal but substantial holiday.

Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Paul Casciato

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