Golden ticket mania has hit the streets as one of Roald Dahl’s most famous characters arrived in Belfast.
Hundreds of people flocked to Belfast city centre yesterday to get their hands on a free bar of chocolate in the hope it concealed one of 10 golden tickets — in a competition echoing the tale of the eponymous hero from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
The crowds descended on Donegall Square as children’s favourite Willy Wonka handed out 1,000 bars of chocolate and the chance to win return airline tickets to the Isle of Man or Blackpool, courtesy of Loganair and Flybe.
To mark the launch of new routes from Belfast City to the Isle of Man and Blackpool, which come into operation next month, the famous Roald Dahl character joined two promotions girls to distribute hundreds of 50g chocolate bars to shoppers, commuters and visitors on the busy central square.
They watched as scores of people ripped open the wrappers to see if they had won a golden ticket hidden inside the packaging.
And, with each person only able to collect one free bar of chocolate, the race was on to see who scooped a trip for two to either destination.
In a joint announcement with franchise partner Flybe, Loganair will be offering up to two fights each day from Belfast to the Isle of Man and Blackpool, with both airlines working hard to ensure that 2009 is a strong year for domestic tourism.
More Brits are expected to holiday at home to beat the recession and attractive exchange rates will also make UK destinations a viable alternative for tourists from Europe and North America.
Fares are £29.99 to the Isle of Man and £35.99 to Belfast City from Blackpool, including all taxes and fees, and are bookable at www.flybe.com.