Where does the money go?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

I am beginning to wonder just what information the Department for Culture etc, (which as readers will know is where the tourism minister hangs his hat) Visit England  and Visit Britain do hold.

Does anyone know how much money is spent on promoting each and every region of England?

Last week, Angela Eagle MP received an answer to a question about what estimates had been made of the amount spent by the Culture department on promoting regional tourism in each year since 2010.

The tourism minister, Michael Ellis, replied that Visit Britain and Visit England do not hold a breakdown of spending at local level and the Culture department does not hold information of spending at local authority level. The department that does, he claimed, was the Ministry for Housing, Central and Local Government.

Why? If there is a tourism department shouldn’t they hold the information? Should tourism be moved to the Department for Housing etc? And why don’t the two bodies responsible for promoting England know how much is spent promoting different geographic areas?

Only last Saturday, I mentioned that David Evennett MP was given a similar fob-off when he asked Ellis how much money had been spent on promoting London each year since 2010 only to be told that that Visit Britain and Visit England did not have such figures. But Evennett as a former tourism minister (providing maternity cover for Tracey Crouch when she was tourism minister) should surely have known that the two tourism promotion bodies didn’t know the answer. And if he didn’t was this because no MP or peer ever bothered to ask so civil servants never had to give an answer to him?

If I was a local councillor or MP I would be questioning why no information was available. How could they, as elected officials not want to know if their areas were receiving a reasonable cut of the tourism promotion cake?

The answers to both Evennett and Eagle’s questions suggest tourism is not joined up by Whitehall. And it should be otherwise how can we judge whether money is being judiciously spent on promoting parts of England?

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