Do we need a Tourism Investment Bank?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

It seems a simple question on the face of it. Where has this idea come from? Philip Riddle, the Chief Executive of Visit Scotland is suggesting to both the Scottish and the UK governments that such a bank be created to put cash into the tourism sector.
But isn’t the UK domestic tourism business doing rather well at the moment? Aren’t you and I seriously considering having our holidays in the UK this year? If that’s the case isn’t our cash going to support the growth of UK tourism anyway? There are countries that have something similar. Austria, France and Spain are cases in point but they are all in the eurozone and are suffering downturns in tourist numbers. If we were suffering a tourism decline then maybe we should consider something like this.
In an interview in “The Scotsman”, Riddle said that the UK (or maybe Scotland, I am not sure) could come out of this recession with a thriving tourism industry.
And that’s the rub.
One good year will not put the tourism industry on its feet after the declining years when more of us go abroad. Tourism is worth a lot of cash and a lot of jobs to our economy. Most companies involved in tourism are small companies. Across the board small companies have felt the lending crunch. But should they get preferential treatment over other industries?
But as Riddle was quoted as saying. At present building materials and land are cheaper. Investing in a downturn can be advantageous because eof those reduced costs. The other thing that has been noticeable in this recession is that people seem set on having a holiday. It’s not a luxury it is part of the necessary recharge of human batteries. So a well thought through investment plan seems a reasonable thing that investors would want to back. So why not through the normal banks?
Not an easy question to answer, I’ve decided but definitely one that we as taxpayers and tourists should give a thought to.

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