Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 40 - 47)

THURSDAY 26 APRIL 2001

MR JEFF HAMBLIN, OBE, AND MR BERNARD DONOGHUE

  40. But did you make a formal complaint about that?
  (Mr Donoghue) No, we did not.

  41. Going back to the actual money you want from Government, you said you have got two million and eight million is on its way, but that is less than half of what you are asking for. Are you anticipating that the announcement that was talked about yesterday will be more than the ten million that is on the table?
  (Mr Hamblin) We do not have ten million on the table, we have £2.2 million on the table. We have made a bid for a further eight million but we do not know the extent of the amount of money that will be forthcoming as a result of the statement made by the Prime Minister yesterday.

  42. Where does the £22.5 million come in?
  (Mr Hamblin) The £22.5 million is the cumulative: the 2.2 that we already have, the eight that we are looking for with immediate effect so we can undertake this tactical activity, and the remainder we are projecting should be used for a major image advertising and promotional activity later on in the year so that we can begin to build the season 2002. As we discussed earlier on, there is going to be a lot of work needed to ensure that we have an impact next year as well as this year.

  43. What did you say to Government about the impact on our tourism industry if that money is not forthcoming? What difference is it going to make to the level of business we do as a percentage of our GDP?
  (Mr Donoghue) At the moment tourism contributes something like four per cent of the nation's GDP. We have made it very, very clear to Government, both to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and to the Treasury, that the sum of £22.5 million is the least required in order to get Britain back up to the point, certainly in terms of this year, that we were envisaging to get to and, over a three year period back up to our expectations. We cannot believe that the Government will not support further investment in tourism given the facts that we have given them and also given their understanding and full appreciation of the extent to which tourism is being impacted by foot and mouth. I cannot sit here and tell you that I believe the Government will only contribute £2.1 million to the recovery of tourism.

  44. So if they do not give you £8 million, are you going to spell it out in the media subsequently as to what damage that is going to do to our tourism industry?
  (Mr Donoghue) We have a statutory duty to advise Government fully, objectively and honestly about all policies affecting tourism, and that will include very, very strongly worded advice to them about what not investing in the recovery of tourism will mean for the economy.

  45. What is the timescale?
  (Mr Donoghue) Critical and very short.

Chairman

  46. If you are going to advise the Government, is it not important to recognise that whatever money the Government puts in now, welcome as it may be, that is not really the only issue, the issue is what we highlighted in our report that you quoted, namely that there has been an extremely serious under-funding of the promotion of British tourism abroad for many years and this ought to be taken as the occasion to rectify that so that you do not simply get an emergency infusion but at long last you, and the English Tourism Council, get the kind of money you need to promote what is a major industry in this country?
  (Mr Donoghue) Exactly.

  47. I can take that as a yes, can I?
  (Mr Hamblin) Absolutely.

  Chairman: Thank you very much indeed, gentlemen, we are very grateful.





 
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