16 May 2011

A whole new approach to tourism strategy!

"To achieve our objectives for the industry and capitalise on the potential of 2012, both the public and private sectors must work together to promote the tourism industry."

The above sentence came from the UK government's Tourism Strategy which also talks about "a whole new approach to tourism".

Presumably because the sector has never been able to make the public and private sectors work together before then this is the reason for needing a whole new approach!

But what was wrong with the old system? What will work that didn't work before - what new approach is needed now?

The old system cost money. Quite a lot of money. In England alone the regional development agencies were providing c£60m pa to support regional tourist boards. That money is not available anymore.

All across the country we have seen the loss or severe reduction of publicly funded tourism bodies, and funding for tourism through local authorities will also be curtailed this year because of council budget cutbacks. The thing about cuts is not so much that it curtails tourism marketing activity - though this will be a consequence. More problematic is that you lose people. And if you want the public and private sector to work together you need people to enable this!

So the scenario is:
- no money
- the 'idea' that the private sector need to do more
- but no indication as to how!
- or who is left to enable this?

Now that's what I call a whole new approach to tourism strategy!

See also UK Government Tourism Policy 2011