Visit England has defended itself against criticism from the Yorkshire tourist board that Yorkshire was 'snubbed' in the latest funding rounds.
Welcome to Yorkshire has complained to the Government after Visit England refused to give it any of the money set aside to help boost tourism because it claimed Yorkshire was not a 'destination'.
Visit England has allocated £500,000 each to York and Leeds to help promote both Yorkshire cities, but Welcome to Yorkshire said its requests for funding to promote the county as a whole had been rejected.
In a statement, Visit England praised the work of Welcome to Yorkshire but said it does not have the resources to support the operational costs of any "sub national tourism organisation".
Instead, it said it works in partnership with these organisations across the whole of the country, including Welcome to Yorkshire, on our programmes of work.
It said the complaint from Yorkshire refers to Regional Growth Fund programme, which is not a tourism specific source of money but was created to stimulate the economy in areas of need and to create jobs at the local level.
It said the selection process for the destinations element of the programme was based on criteria of both economic need and tourism growth potential.
"In addition to the destinations activity there is also a thematic element of the Regional Growth Fund programme which Welcome to Yorkshire is able to participate in and we would hope that partners in Yorkshire will collaborate together with Welcome to Yorkshire to take advantage of this opportunity," said the statement.
"It is unfortunate that the funding stream for RGF which is set up to support growth at the local level appears to have become confused with VisitEngland's overall approach to tourism.
"Be assured that we do recognise Welcome to Yorkshire as the tourism marketing body responsible for promoting Yorkshire. Be further assured we continue to seek out funding opportunities to support both tourism growth and the activities of organisations across England to facilitate and support that growth."
by Bev Fearis
Friday, September 7, 2012
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