LOCAL councillor Leela Widger has joined a campaign calling on the Prime Minister to do more to boost the British tourist industry.
During the third annual British Tourism Week the Liberal Democrat councillor joined MPs at Westminster to take the campaign to Downing Street calling on the government to take tourism more seriously.
Tourism is the sixth largest industry in Britain. It generates £85bn p.a. for the UK economy and directly supports 2.2 million jobs. In generating £15bn per annum in foreign exchange, it is also the UK’s third largest export earner.
Liberal Democrats are concerned that Britain as a tourist destination has seen investment drastically cut by £15 million between 2003 and 2010.
Solihull Councillor Leela Widger joined Liberal Democrat MPs from the Shadow Department of Culture Media and Sport to urge the Government to reverse the funding cuts it has levelled at the Tourism industry.
“British tourism can thrive only if the Government are prepared to invest in the industry and adopt a sound marketing strategy to publicise Britain’s many attractions,” she said.
“Liberal Democrats believe that tourism could provide one of the routes out of the recession. Thousands of jobs could be protected and new ones created if the cuts in tourism were reversed and initiatives like reducing VAT on accommodation and entrance to tourist attractions were implemented.”
Tourism is the sixth largest industry in Britain, generating £85bn a year for the UK economy (6.4% of GDP) and directly supports 2.2 million jobs (7.7% of the total workforce). In generating £15bn per annum in foreign exchange, it is also the UK’s third largest export earner.
Between 2003 and 2010, Government has cut its funding to VisitBritain, the main body for marketing British tourist sites aboard by £15 million.