No benefit to the tourist destination?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Perplexed © Dan Sperrin

Perplexed © Dan Sperrin

Training business owners, subsidising training for those working in tourism and producing materials may not have made any impact on the destination says Kevin Kaley, a director of the Tourism Society has said.

For us visitors and travellers this is an interesting view from a man who has run his own tourism consultancy for sixteen years and has had dozens of tourist authorities as clients.

If he believes that the monies spent didn’t improve things for visitors or the destinations what should be done? Should we suspend money being spent on training tourism professionals and volunteers and limit the amount of brochures and handouts?

Kaley gave these views in a travel trade magazine, Destination Tourism, this month. His argument runs that if his suspicions are right then there needs to be much more rigorous appraisal of what will work and what is just pouring money down the drain.

I would go one stage further.

Too often tourism projects are at the whim of local councillors, politicians and parties who have the knowledge on how to get things done without necessarily knowing whether it is for the wider benefit. There is no point in creating an attraction, a museum, a cycleway or leisure pursuits if few people use it.

The argument for “doing something” is one that doesn’t ring true. Just because there are no arts facilities so  a theatre cum museum must be created does not mean to say there is either a demand for it or that it will be used. If no public or heritage lottery money is being used, then I have no problem with it. People can spend the money they raise as they wish. But using public money demands scrutiny at a time when resources are tight.

If  we don’t visit or use it, then there is no reason to publically fund it.

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