UK Theme Park Theme Draws Fire

April 23, 2004 ( - A British theme park has drawn fire for promoting itself via a Website designed to encourage workers to play hooky.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said earlier this week that it was unhappy that in central (‘s biggest theme park) had used the web address “” to promote a mid-week discount offer, claiming it would spark absenteeism.

“Do you know a friend in need of a great day out — away from work? Simply e-mail this URL to them and they too can get out of the office and have a great day out at ,” the Web site says.

The theme park, which attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year, according to Reuters, said it had recently carried out a “light-hearted” survey which found one in three of its adult visitors had made up excuses to get time off.

Mike mer, the park’s marketing manager, said, “It’s not up to us to reduce absenteeism, and if workers want to take advantage of the mid-week deals, why not?”

The FSB, which has more than 185,000 members, said the Web site promotion was “unethical and irresponsible” and added it would be contacting ‘s Advertising Standards Authority.

“Absenteeism costs the U.K. economy some 10 billion pounds, and I’m sure Alton Towers wouldn’t like it if their staff took time off unjustifiably to go to Chessington World of Adventures (a rival theme park),” an FSB spokesman said, according to Reuters.