LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A British theme park has been criticized by businesses for launching a promotional "ihatework.co.uk" Web site which they say will encourage people to skip work.

The Federation of Small Businesses said on Wednesday it was unhappy that Alton Towers in central England, Britain'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 www.ihatework.co.uk to them and they too can get out of the office and have a great day out at Alton Towers," the Web site says.

The theme park, which attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year, 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.

"We were actually quite surprised by the number of skivers [work dodgers] we appear to have on park, and expect our "Ihatework.co.uk" Web site to be really popular as a result!" Mike Lorimer, the park's marketing manager, said in a statement.

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/int...eut/index.html