Kit talks Kobblers

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Ryanair geography: fly to London to get to Lochalsh

According to Kit Malthouse, deputy mayor of London and chairman of London’s tourist promotion body – London & Partners – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should spend their tourism budgets on promoting London if they want to attract more visitors.

In today’s Observer, he says that the national and regional tourist boards should instead recognise the reality of London’s pre-eminence, help to promote it further and, in return, the UK’s capital would educate visitors about the benefits of going for “a few days up to Edinburgh or to Cardiff or to Belfast”.

What Klaptrap.

Should regional bodies follow that advice what guarantee is there that Malthouse can get visitors into other areas short of press ganging them? Many don’t want to come to London but refer to get into the Scottish highlands via Edinburgh or travel to North Wales via Manchester because it is closer. Part of the problem with London – which Malthouse doesn’t mention – is that it is in the south east and far from Wales and Scotland but really useful if you want to go to Dartford or Putney.

Northern Ireland’s tourism minister, Arlene Foster, is concentrating on attracting a direct flight from Canada. She has more chance of attracting people who fly into Dublin than London. Even Bristol has promoted itself in the US by promoting the Aer Lingus into Dublin from New York and then on into Bristol.

Where do the vast majority of our visitors come from? Elsewhere in the UK and then from France and other parts of Europe. And from these we have regional services that bypass London and fly into Cardiff and Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, Glasgow and Belfast. They fly direct because they don’t want to travel via London and waste time getting to where they really want to go.

Malthouse has a Ryanair mentality. They deliver passengers to within 100 miles of where they want to go and Malthouse suggests the same. In case he doesn’t know, Visit Britain is the body to attract overseas tourists into the UK. London & Partners plus Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board are supposed to concentrate on domestic tourism.

And London tourism is the hands of this man? Thanks goodness he has people in London & Partners who know what they are talking about.

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