The campaign, entitled Inn England, is being launched with the aim of helping struggling pubs to diversify into additional tourism services and become an integral part of short-break holidays in England.
VisitEngland wants pub landlords to position their businesses as the starting point for any visit to an area, rather than purely focusing on the needs of locals.
The tourism body has created a microsite, www.enjoyengland.com/innengland, to target both pub landlords and tourists. Pubs and inns will be searchable by categories such as family-friendliness and historical interest. The site will include an interactive forum where consumers can recommend their favourite pubs.
‘Pubs are a key part of England's brand, our history and way of life,' says Amanda Smyth, head of marketing at VisitEngland. ‘Inn England will remind people of the unique place that the English pub holds in our history and our communities. We hope this idea will galvanise pub landlords all over England to think outside the box about other ways that they can work with their local community to attract more business.'
The British Beer & Pub Association claims that around 39 pubs are forced to close down each week, with an estimated 20,000 pub workers losing their jobs over the past 12 months.
Inn England is the latest in a number of initiatives rolled out by VisitEngland, which officially launched on 1 April. Earlier this month, it launched a £3m TV campaign called ‘Enjoy Every Minute' to convince consumers they can enjoy English attractions no matter how little time they have available.
VisitEngland recently appointed James Berresford as its first chief executive.