TOURISTS will be encouraged to visit the IW and experience ‘Victoria’s Island’ in a new £200,000 Visit IW campaign.
Its launch on August 15 will co-incide with the nationwide cinema release of Victoria and Abdul.
The film, based on the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant, Abdul Karim, stars Academy award-winner Judi Dench and was partially filmed at Osborne House last year.
A ‘Welcome to Victoria’s Island’ archway has already been installed at the Red Funnel car ferry terminal in Southampton, depicting actors from the movie, alongside images of famous locations on the Island.
The campaign will then continue with digital, social media and advertising across the UK, and it hopes to put the Victoria’s Island message in front of more than 20 million people between August and October.
A leaflet will encourage visitors to follow a heritage trail, highlighting 12 locations of significance for Queen Victoria, including Osborne House and St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham.
Tourist numbers have been slowly increasing on the Island, reversing the steady decline between 1981 and 2013. Visit IW hopes to continue this growth and aims to attract three million visitors to the Island annually within the next five years.
Visit IW chief executive David Thornton said: “The message we want to get across is for people to come visit the Island.
“It takes a while to increase tourist numbers — holidaymakers are already in love with other parts of the country and we have to slowly convince them of all the IW has to offer.”
l See Weekender page 9 for details of the Victoria and Abdul costumes on show at Osborne House.