UK tourism `starved’ by lack of cash

Tourism authorities are handicapped in their efforts to market UK holidays at home and abroad because of a lack of government funding, a report published last week claims.

The report, from the Department of National Heritage and called Tourism: Competing With The Best, revealed that the UK’s share of the international tourism market has fallen and that domestic tourism is suffering because more Britons are taking their main holiday abroad.

English Tourist Board (ETB) head of strategic marketing, Andrew Maxted, complains: “Despite this situation, we are getting no extra cash for domestic marketing.”

Government funding for the ETB is being cut by 35 per cent over the next three years. Its grant of £11.3m this year is dropping to £10m next year.

Although the grant for the BTA is £33.2m, chief executive Anthony Sell says most of the increase was lost through rising overseas bills after the UK left the European Monetary System.

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