Tourism chiefs have written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to express their anger over cuts in funding as the industry launches the “Take Tourism Seriously” campaign.
The Tourism Alliance, an umbrella group of trade organisations representing around 200,000 businesses, says its membership is “furious” about the Government’s attitude towards tourism, particularly in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.
The campaign, launched today (November 19), is backed by leading figures in the industry, including Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, Whitebred chief executive Alan Parker and Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments.
The move was sparked by last month’s decision to cut VisitBritain’s funding by 18%. The Tourism Alliance fears that the UK’s status as the sixth most popular tourist destination is under threat and opportunities to develop tourism on the back of the 2012 Olympics are at risk.
Tourism Alliance chairman, Ros Pritchard, says: “Our members are furious that Department of Culture, Media and Sport is abdicating its statutory responsibility to the national tourist board… The Tourism Alliance has now lost patience with the Government’s attitude toward tourism.”
Speaking for the hotel industry Sir David Michels, former chief executive at Hilton, said the government was “failing” and “mishandling” the tourism industry.