Published on Monday, October 26, 2015

Spare us your axe, industry tells Chancellor


Inbound tour operators are pleading with Chancellor George Osborne not to cut funding for national tourist boards in his Autumn Statement next month.

They fear his Comprehensive Spending Review will see the axe fall heavily on non-protected government departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which could result in 'drastic' cuts for VistEngland and VisitBritain.

UKinbound chief executive Deirdre Wells has written to the Treasury urging it to acknowledge the vital role the tourist boards play within the tourism industry.

"VisitBritain and VisitEngland are recognised universally as having done an enormous amount to deliver the step change in visitor numbers to the UK which we have seen in recent years," she said.

"However, both organisations suffered cuts in the previous Spending Round which resulted in core activity, such as business support and the overseas network being reduced dramatically.  There is a real concern within the industry that a further cut in this Spending Round - to an already modest budget - will have a serious impact on vital services.

"Every extra visitor who comes to the UK brings an additional £630 in export earnings and contributes £216 to the Exchequer; therefore supporting VisitBritain and VisitEngland in growing this industry further is sensible economics."



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