Americans receive a princely invitation to visit        

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The Independent Online

The Prince of Wales and Tony Blair are to appear in a marketing campaign aimed at persuading hundreds of thousands of Americans to visit Britain.

The £20m drive, the most expensive of its kind, will include a prime-time advertising blitz to be launched next month in an effort to defuse transatlantic fears over the war on terror. The intention is to encourage a million more foreign visitors to Britain this year than last year. The campaign will focus on royal heritage and the Queen's golden jubilee.

A letter from the Prince on a brochure will be dispatched to tens of thousands of people across North America this month, outlining 50 tourist attractions with a royal link. The Prince wrote: "Throughout my life I have cherished and loved the many special qualities which make Britain the country it is: our countryside, evolved over hundreds of years of painstaking care, our breathtaking landscapes, our rich and unique history, a heritage of extraordinary richness and diversity.

"All reflect a culture which has, over the centuries, given the expression to some of the most civilised of human values.

"The interest and appeal of this wonderful national tapestry is one which, in my view, can never been exhausted, even by the most frequent visitors."

The Prime Minister also plans to record a video inside Downing Street extolling the virtues of Britain.

Tourism officials will meet next week to appoint an advertising agency. A spokeswoman for the British Tourist Authority said: "At one point we were fearful that the US market would drop by 30 per cent. It has dropped, but only by around 10 per cent."

The campaign, run in conjunction with airlines, hotel groups and travel operators, will run from next month until mid-August, in America, Canada and five European nations.

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