As plans for the ‘flagship’ event on the River Thames were announced today for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations a heritage-inspired pass – the Diamond Pass - allowing free or discounted entry to 60 famous castles, stately homes with royal connections and other attractions - one of each year of the Queen's reign - is to be launched by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency.
The pass, designed for overseas visitors, provides them with great value for money during 2012 and aims to tap into the interest generated overseas in Britain’s royal culture and heritage on the back of this iconic event.
Already a strong driver in attracting visitors, our “culture and heritage’’ - extending from museums and galleries to Premiership football as well as castles and stately homes - generates just over £4.5 billion in total spending by overseas tourists and supports 100,000 jobs.
And within that total a large proportion of those attractions – ranging from the Tower of London, Blenheim Palace to Edinburgh Castle and Caernarfon Castle – are associated with our royal heritage.
The modern traveller is all about travelling light, having access to instant information so downloadable mobile apps and quick reference maps will be the main source of information for Diamond Pass users rather than traditional guide books.
Laurence Bresh, VisitBritain Director of Marketing, said: “The exciting Diamond Pass is a unique and great value product that will build on the momentum and buzz already being created by the Royal Wedding with our overseas visitors.
“The pass will also offer a tailored vehicle for the attractions industry to address concerns over displacement and dispersal during 2012. It will bolster visitor numbers and promote the regional spread of tourists across the whole of Britain in line with the aspirations of our ‘Britain You’re Invited’ campaign.
“It will launch on the first day of 2012 to coincide with next year’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and many of the properties connected with her Majesty’s ancestors are included in the pass portfolio. It offers a fantastic opportunity to explore a vast range of attractions old and new that make Britain such a popular destination.”
Ann S Wilson, Head of Sales at Historic Royal Palaces said: "2012 promises an exciting year of commemorative events at Historic Royal Palaces that will mark Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year. VisitBritain's Diamond Pass provides visitors to Britain with a fantastic value-for-money ticket that they can use to explore all of our palaces, including Kensington Palace and the Tower of London where we will be unveiling exciting new visitor experiences and exhibitions especially for the anniversary year."
Mark Anderson, Sales and Marketing Manager at Warwick Castle said: "We are delighted to be able to support VisitBritain's Diamond Pass in the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and during such an exciting time for British tourism. We look forward to helping tourists discover more of our great country, experiencing all that Britain has to offer and making sure Warwick Castle is on their list of things to see."