£1.4 billion for Tourism

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Two days ago I wrote about the strange position lots of tourist groups are in as the government makes its mind up about how it is going to stimulate, privatise or incentivise us to visit places. On Monday the tourism minister, John Penrose, said that local enterprise partnerships will be the main economic drivers and that they should work with local tourism bodies. Forget for the moment that this sounds suspiciously like what they are replacing but with different names and smaller geographic areas, it was what he said next that was important. There is something called the Regional Growth Fund. In it there is £1.4 billion available for tourism related applications.
Let me repeat that. £1.4 billion. And yet the current promotion campaign is aimed at £100 million, 50% coming from industry. (In the same answer to David Anderson MP, Penrose said that £130 million will be spent from 2011-12 to 2014-15.) On top of this money there are other potential sources. For example in Wales, Elin Jones, the Rural Affairs Minister has a budget of £54 million for funding projects in rural Wales. That could be used for tourism projects. Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s Culture Minister has found £1.3 million for five heritage projects.
I bet every tourist destination, attraction and event that heard this news is, firstly trying to figure out how they can get hold of some of this as fast as possible before others get there and secondly, if it really exists.

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