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A pioneering commercial is promoting Chester as a short break destination on national TV for the first time.

And the ad, which features well-known locations such as the Eastgate Clock, the cathedral, the river and the racecourse, is targeted at the female decision-maker in the household.

The aim is to target to attract couples, families and groups of friends to stay in the city.

Chester is currently being advertised on Sky and ITV1 in Yorkshire as part of a campaign by Marketing Cheshire that also features promotion on national radio. There are more than 200 spots in total, with a TV audience reach of more three million.

Marketing Cheshire says Chester’s first ever made-for-TV commercial ‘portrays a fresh contemporary, classical image for the city’.

Its original 30-second ad, which last year featured on Channel 4’s website service 4oD, has been edited to include new scenes showing Chester Zoo, the open air theatre in the park and Cheshire Oaks.

Several Marketing Cheshire staff acted for free in the film to save money and to involve real local people.

Supporting the £20,000 campaign are CH1 BID Company, Chester Zoo, Chester Performs, and Chester Cathedral, as well as Grosvenor Shopping Centre, Chester Race Company and McArthur Glen’s Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council and Chester and Cheshire Hospitality Association are also backing the new initiative, including city hotels ABode Chester, The Chester Grosvenor, Crowne Plaza Chester, Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa, and The Queen Hotel.

Marketing Cheshire chief executive Katrina Michel said: “We are delighted with the support we have received from key tourism businesses and other private sector companies and organisations in Chester to create a major national marketing campaign for the city this summer.

“Our aim is to inspire visitors to stay longer and explore more because people who overnight in the city generate more money for the local economy. We want visitors to come and stay for more than a day to remember.”

The film emphasises the city’s Roman origins and 2,000 years of heritage as a backdrop to enjoying a host of 21st century delights on a short break including designer shopping, soothing spas, fine dining, events and leisure activities.

Marketing Cheshire has also launched a brand new responsive web-site for Chester to coincide with the national marketing campaign.

Visitchester.com highlights places to stay and visit in the city and its environs as well as events and festivals, shopping and dining to help visitors plan their stay in the city and book accommodation online.The new web-site can also be used more easily on mobile devices.

Christophe Hesbert, chairman of Chester and Cheshire Hoteliers Association, said: “Getting TV coverage for Chester fulfils a key item in our wish-list for the city. We are delighted with the way that Marketing Cheshire has brought stakeholders together to invest in a major marketing campaign for Chester.

“The short breaks market nationally is hugely competitive and we need to devote more resources to campaigns of this kind to make sure Chester stays ahead of the game.”