British Waterways kicks off its first UK wide marketing campaign on Monday to boost the number of visitors to canals and riverside pubs.
The campaign is designed to boost the fortunes of riverside and canalside hospitality operators and will show people using the areas as part of their everyday lives.
A poll by YouGov stated 50% of the population lives within a five miles radius of canals or rivers but only 3% visit them.
Simon Salem, marketing and customer service director at British Waterways, said: "Half the population lives within five miles of one of our waterways, making them a hidden pleasure within easy reach for many; however just 3% of people are currently enjoying them in any one week. Our campaign aims to change this."
The campaign will see £800,000 spent over the course of a year with advertising placed in "high-density" areas.
By Christopher Walton