Our only tourism vehicle at the moment is our Local Enterprise Partnership – which has a small amount of spin and rhetoric about tourism in its ” vision”but no actual plans or extra funding. Basically, tourism is left to the small and medium businesses that barely feature in their plans. Despite tourism having higher growth than any other sector they deal with.
Basically, if there isn’t a nuclear option, they don’t want to know. Tourism will no doubt be on the cards for Hinkley C though!
“Devon risks being sidelined from a lavish Government-backed advertising campaign to get Britons to holiday at home.
Domestic tourism board VisitEngland has been allocated almost £20 million through the Regional Growth Fund, the Government’s flagship plan to get economies outside of London motoring.
The tourist body for Cornwall, VisitCornwall, is among 14 partner organisations that will soak up much of the cash on promoting “staycations” via national media. But VisitDevon is currently not one of them.
The campaign is looking to capitalise on the feel-good factor surrounding the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.
Tourism leaders say the Government is right to invest in the industry as it helps meet the aims of boosting sectors beyond the City of London and reviving areas facing public sector job cuts.
Estimates say if the 13 per cent increase in domestic tourism is maintained until the end of the year it would mean an increase of £2.7 billion for the UK economy – enough to create more than 50,000 jobs spread across the whole of the UK.
The £20 million will be used on a three-year project entitled Growing Tourism Locally.
James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said: “With this additional money we can mount a serious campaign to stimulate domestic tourism that has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,500 full time jobs in areas across the country suffering economic challenges.”
He said tourism board “partners” will manage parts of the campaign. They represent Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cumbria, Durham, Kent, Manchester, Merseyside, Newcastle-Gateshead, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Peak District and Derbyshire, and York. Each body is thought to have secured match-funding from the private sector.
VisitEngland, which will buy television, newspaper and Internet space, is yet to decide the size of the slice of the cash each area will get. A series of thematic campaigns focusing on countryside, heritage, coastal and business tourism will run alongside.
Malcolm Bell, head of VisitCornwall, said beaches, coastlines and other “icons of Cornwall” would be deployed as “best products in the shop window” to sell England.
He added: “If you take the coastal theme, you would say isn’t it wonderful to have a seaside holiday in the UK – the product to sell that will be Cornwall. People understand it. This is a good use of public money because marketing works.”
VisitDevon was unable to comment yesterday, but VisitEngland said it could feature in the thematic advertising.”