Agents including Tui, Thomas Cook, Advantage, Midcounties Co-op Travel, Premier Travel and The Travel Network Group have signed up to support the government-funded Great Adventure domestic holidays campaign.

Attraction World, Superbreak, Hoseasons, Bourne Leisure and Shearings Holidays are also backing the marketing push officially launched today (Thursday) by culture secretary Maria Miller and VisitEngland.

Starring Wallace & Gromit, the £4 million push is designed to inspire people to take a holiday at home this year and drive bookings through the trade.

A television advertisement airs for the first time on Sunday (May 12), encouraging consumers to book a holiday through their local travel agent.

The TV ad will encourage viewers to visit, a special website with ideas for days out and holidays across the country.

It will also feature a range of specially-commissioned postcards featuring Wallace & Gromit on their holidays, which can be shared through social media channels.

Visitors to the site can enter their postcode to find details of the nearest participating travel agent where they can book their own ‘great adventure’ in the UK, and can also watch an exclusive behind the scenes film about the making of the TV ad, and an extended version of the ad itself.

Led by VisitEngland and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the campaign will see Wallace & Gromit take to the road, exploring the country and discovering the best of the UK.

The actviity forms part of the Holidays at Home are GREAT government-funded strategy launched last year.

Designed to boost domestic tourism, the campaign aims to raise £80 million in additional tourism spend and more than a million overnight stays.

Miller, said: “Our tourism industry plays a key role in delivering economic growth, creating jobs and supporting businesses up and down the country.

“I’m delighted that we’re thinking innovatively about how to promote Britain and the new ‘Great Adventure’ campaign, starring the much-loved Wallace and Gromit, will showcase fantastic UK holiday destinations, delivering an £80 million economic boost.”

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford added: “We have had a fantastic response from the domestic travel trade, and I’m looking forward to working with our tour operator and retail partners to inspire Britons to visit their local travel agent and book a break at home this year.

“Wallace & Gromit are wonderful ambassadors for holidays at home. They are a quintessentially English double-act with universal appeal at home and abroad, and I’m sure they will capture the public’s imagination.

“Following on from the success of the first Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign last year, which generated over £300 million in additional tourism spend, this new campaign forms a key part of VisitEngland’s strategy to grow tourism in this country, supporting the government’s agenda for growth.”

Wallace & Gromit will be taking centre stage at The World on Regent Street Festival in London on Sunday. Regent Street will be entirely closed to traffic and fully pedestrianised, showcasing several world-famous destinations, including Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Other activities on the day include a Wallace & Gromit branded hot air balloon, Wensleydale cheese sampling and ‘clay-station’ model making workshops at Hamleys with Wallace & Gromit creators, Aardman.