Hospitality & Tourism

Published: March 24, 2022 | Updated: March 24, 2022

Major £175k ‘Feels Like’ campaign brackets the BCP region with LA, Normandy, Sydney & Ibiza

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A major campaign to encourage staycation visitors to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is likening some BCP areas to Los Angeles, Sydney, Normandy and Ibiza.

The Feels Like campaign has been launched by BH Area Hospitality Association (BAHA) and Bournemouth Coastal BID, in collaboration with the Destination Management Board and BCP Tourism.

It supports the bounce back of the local tourism, hospitality and cultural economy in the wake of the pandemic.

At a cost of £175,000, the Feels Like campaign is the biggest-ever by the resort.

Families with young children, Gen X and empty nesters, who live within a two-three hour radius of the area, are the targets.

The campaign hopes to revitalise the way these groups see the region by enticing them with the promise of a ‘world-class’ holiday destination closer to home, with evocative images of boutique surf bars, blue seas for sunbathing and watersports, and cultural and historical gems.

David Bailey, Destination Management Board President, pictured left, said the campaign aimed to encourage staycation trips by capturing the sentiment that everyone, whether visitor or local, feels as if they are on holiday when they come to the resort.

He said: “We want to change people’s mindsets with this campaign and encourage them to look at the area differently.

“We want them to see that you can get that Spanish feeling here.

“We are the ‘Coast with the Most’, with 15 miles of warm sand and clear water so it’s no surprise we’ve been one of the UK’s top staycation destinations for years.

“But we also have so much more to offer within a short distance of the beach.

“The area is steeped in history, as Christchurch Priory and Poole Museum shows, and has a richly diverse cultural scene, including the extraordinary Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, alongside many fabulous restaurants and outdoor activities, such as at Upton Country Park.

“We hope this campaign breathes life into our local tourism and hospitality industry both along the seafront, in the town and beyond the beach.”

The campaign is funded by £150,000 from the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) investment plus £25,000 from the Coastal BID.

Key locations the campaign targets are Somerset, South Midlands, Surrey, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Hampshire.

Jon Weaver, BCP Council’s Head of Destination and Culture, pictured right, said: “We’re a top holiday destination and we’re proud of that.

“Tourism contributed £1 billion to the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole economy in 2019 and we aim to increase visitor numbers to pre-Covid numbers over the next three years.

“We want to ensure the staycation market performs well and this campaign will help us maintain that.”

Paul Clarke, Bournemouth Coastal BID Chair, pictured left, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support our hoteliers on the East and the West Cliff by topping up the funding obtained by BAHA under the ARG scheme.

“Through partnership working we have been able to amplify the message and to really shout about what we have to offer as a destination.”

Tim Seward, Chair of BH Area Hospitality Association, pictured right, said: “It is great that the association has driven this campaign to show everyone that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is the place to visit and to stay, not only during the summer but as an all-year round destination.

“We believe this campaign will place the area and its hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts back on the map.”

The creative was developed by Bournemouth-based Make Studio, in partnership with Fabbrica Media and Warrior Agency, who are delivering proactive media and influencer PR.

Chris Bainbridge, Founder and Creative Director of Make Studio, said: “This campaign celebrates the local talent and businesses and the change that is happening here.

“We’ve collaborated with great local photographers, music producers, suppliers and our creative team to create an authentic, fresh approach and vision for the area.”

A range of media will be deployed, including targeted out of home adverts in high footfall shopping and traffic areas within a two-three journey time aimed at reaching a desirable audience.

Native advertising (sponsored content) will also be used, with video ads appearing within the content area of a website, alongside paid social media on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The campaign will also use paid search and programmatic display, to allow for an efficient and targeted reach across multiple websites.