Brittany Ferries and Visit Exmoor encourage French holidaymakers

Press Release

14 February 2023

Brittany Ferries and Visit Exmoor roll out the red carpet for French holidaymakers

Brittany Ferries and Visit Exmoor are preparing to welcome a wave of French holidaymakers in 2023, thanks to a brand-new marketing campaign in France showcasing the tourism jewels of Exmoor and the south coast of England, as well as the ease of getting there by ferry.

The marketing campaign will be funded by a grant won from VisitBritain’s GREAT Gateway Innovation Fund together with support from Brittany Ferries and Visit Exmoor and 10 other destination partners in the south and south-west.

This campaign will showcase the dynamism, diversity, beauty, and warm welcome of the south coast to French visitors, encouraging them to discover (or re-discover) the delights of the region on a holiday or short break, both during and outside the main tourist season.

Brittany Ferries links five French ports—three in Normandy and two in Brittany—to the South Coast ports of Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth, giving easy access to hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers across north-western France. Historically the majority of its passengers have been British holidaymakers travelling south to France and Spain rather than French visitors sailing to the UK. The new campaign aims to address this imbalance, as well as to encourage French visitors already planning trips to the UK to stay and explore the south coast of England.

The marketing campaign will build awareness and drive bookings and will include the creation of dedicated tours and accommodation packages in destinations along the south coast. Visitors will be encouraged to travel across the region, following tourist trails between towns, taking in sites and attractions, making overnight stays, and sampling local food and drink, while contributing to local economies.

Brittany Ferries’ partnerships manager Julian Patchett said:

“Brittany Ferries started life 50 years ago, when French farmers acquired a ship to bring their vegetables to the UK. But their vision wasn’t just to transport cargo – they also wanted to enrich the regions served by Brittany Ferries ships by transporting holidaymaker and promoting tourism links.

“Our mission remains the same to this day, as we work with tourism partners across the South and South-West to reveal our fabulous destinations to a new generation of French travellers.”

Emma Thomasson, CEO of Visit Exmoor said:

Visit Exmoor have embraced the chance to engage with this fund and initiative, working with Brittany Ferries and other friends and partners across the South-West.  This is an amazing opportunity for us to showcase Exmoor and along with other South-West destinations to inspire and welcome French visitors to the area.”

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said:

“This Fund encourages local destinations in forging partnerships within the industry and boosts their marketing activity, showcasing the very best of their region.  It also encourages visitors to broaden their travel itineraries, boosting inbound visits across more of the year and across more of Britain, supporting local businesses, destinations and economies.”

Altogether 11 towns and tourism bodies have partnered with Brittany Ferries for the campaign:

For more information about the Fund see VisitBritain’s website here.


Notes to Editors:

About Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries was conceived in 1972, starting life as a freight-only service on 2nd January the following year. The first ferry (Kerisnel) linked Roscoff in Brittany with Plymouth in the South of England and carried a cargo of artichokes and cauliflowers. Since then the company has progressively launched, then strengthened its shipping routes. This year, Brittany Ferries celebrates 50 years at sea. Millions of passengers and businesses transporting goods by sea across the so-called Atlantic Arc (France, UK, Spain and Ireland) rely on the links forged over the decades. In addition to cutting congestion and emissions on busy roads, these motorways-of the sea have helped enrich local communities, creating jobs and nurturing international tourism.

For more details visit:

Nigel Wonnacott:

Christopher Jones:

For more information on VisitBritain contact or on 0207 578 1428 or on 07500 555651.

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