Cornflakes, Cars and Tourism.

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Tourist Signs

Tourist Signs

This morning the Dept for Culture & Oddities issued its 52 page document on its plans for tourism. These will affect all of us that holiday, take day trips or visit friends because tourism is so involved in what we do. Go to shops outside your local community? That contributes to tourism. Use the roads or trains? That affects tourism. Eat cornflakes? Well no, that doesn’t affect tourism but they are mentioned in the report.

So how will this affect you?

For a start it means less of all of our taxes will be used, in time, to support tourism since the government wants those involved in tourism to largely pay for it. Secondly they want more of us to holiday at home since we have a population that likes to go abroad in proportionately greater numbers than other nations.

They want our home attractions and destinations to find ways to extend the periods when we are likely to visit them as this would have the same effect so, as part of it, they are considering moving the May 1st bank holiday to St George’s Day in England, St David’s Day in Wales (if the Welsh Assembly agrees) or to October, say Trafalgar Day so that the “holiday” season lasts longer. The morning newspapers and TV stations have tended to concentrate just on this aspect of things.

Improving the information on those brown signs we see on motorways and main roads so that we have better information about attractions is another suggestion as well as an investigation into road and rail maintenance so that it doesn’t have such an impact in the ability of us to move around in peak tourist times. Like weekends. Whether this proposal gets anywhere, I’ll only believe when I see it.

CD-Traveller (http://www.justabouttravel.net/2011/02/11/scrapping-hotel-star-ratings/) has already mentioned the government’s idea of not supporting the hotel ratings scheme (stars or diamonds) believing that some websites that give customer comment provide a better and more easily understood service. There is no star system for conflakes or cars says the document so why hotels? Except you could argue that there are government figures for fuel consumption to help consumers compare. Certainly some countries like Germany and USA don’t have a government sponsored rating. And some research suggests we don’t take much notice of it anyway.

There are plans to speed up getting through check-ins and security at airports. Not specific plans but talks to improve things. One thing the document doesn’t seem to understand is that it isn’t really the check-in that creates delays today. That has largely changed. The problem today lies in the security queues and in incoming travelers going through passport control. These days the longest queues are often in the UK/EU part not the lines for overseas visitors. A suggestion. With those countries with which we have the greatest number of visitors such as France, reach agreement with the governments to undertake immigration controls at the departure airports as Ireland has arranged with the USA. That will substantially reduce lines.

APD is skirted over, this tax that has a greater affect on whether we travel abroad or overseas visitors come to us than almost many of the other suggestions that the document suggests? It is subject to a consultation, it says.

So those are the proposals. Now more talking and then we might find how this will really affect us visitors and travellers.
The government consulted the travel trade but we travellers are the major driving force. If you have a comment, let us know and we will pass it on to the ministry.

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