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Tourism misses a trick

August 14, 2009

Despite being the 5th largest industry in Britain,the last decade has seen tourism miss a huge opportunity.

That is the conclusion of a report,Backing British tourism,Destination recovery, just released by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC).

In its forward David Frost,its Director General,says that Britain’s tourism industry deserves its chance to unlock its future potential and help drive the economy out of recession.

In order to do so it requires a more effective method of targeting and better coordination between government at all levels and the industry in general.

Written and researched in conjunction with hotel chain Travelodge,it cites a percentage drop in visitors to our shores despite growing global tourism numbers and a growing deficit of income in the UK against that spent abroad.

Blackpool was one of the case studies cited in the report with the dire state of the town’s hotel rooms,a lack of investment in infrastructure a local authority not having the resource to invest in a marketing strategy.

The plethora of tourism bodies means that the industry is confused about who to engage with,yet the current economic crisis and forthcoming events such as the London Olympics,there is a huge opportunity to capitalise on growth.

The government and particularly the Department of Culture are rounded on for devolving responsibility for tourism without setting in place performance frameworks and national policy guidance.

It recommends responsibility sitting firmly within Peter Mandelson’s department of Business,Innovation and Skills.

The government should take back control of strategy currently lying with Visit Britain freeing them to concentrate on more specific issues.

The report also criticises the complex nature of the regional system with particular reference to the widespread disparages between the regional development authorities.

So is the report correct both nationally but more specifically in the North West?

We would welcome your comments

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