Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Fourth Report


ANNEX III: NOTE BY DEREK WYATT MP

Meeting held with Tess Wright, Managing Director, East of England Tourist Board in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, on 18 April 2001

Geographical Area (one of ten regional boards)

Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire

Issues before F&M

  • No marketing budget

  • England allocated less per head for Tourism than Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland

  • Some RDAs have tourism as a responsibility some do not; ERDA does

  • Tourism 5 per cent of EoE GDP worth £4 billion per annum

  • Had no web site (now www.eastofenglandtouristboard.com)

  • No e-mail or intranet structure underneath EoE with local tourist boards and local authorities with tourism responsibilities

  • VAT on hotel rooms and tourism per se 5 per cent-8 per cent across all other EU countries—17.5 per cent in UK

  • Lost confidence

  • Punching below weight

  • Tourists mainly from USA then Europe—but USA the most important

Issues raised since F&M

  • allowed to draw down next two quarters of financial year immediately

  • this gives them a special marketing budget of just £125,000—surreal

  • some footpaths are open but none in Essex or Bedfordshire; but reasons for closure seem political to me

  • Easter weekend a bonus for sea-side resorts but not for destination cities like Cambridge or Bury St Edmunds or for rural areas

  • web site updated twice a day

Thoughts

  • Tourism in wrong government Department (DETR or DTI or new?)

  • Central marketing for ETC: large percentage to be given to regions

  • F&M has at last given a focus for Tourism

  • RDAs may be right regional basis for Tourism.



 
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